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Haiti - Two years on

Haiti - Two years on
Latest UpdateBackgroundIR Response
The Challenges in Haiti
12 January 2011


A shelter where one family was living before help from Islamic Relief

Each disaster is unique and requires a distinct approach to help those affected to repair the damage. The earthquake in Haiti caused staggering damage to the nation’s infrastructure, crippling government buildings as well as the offices of aid agencies already established in the country. This was followed by several tens of aftershocks for weeks after the initial tremor, as well as heavy monsoon rains and flooding and a hurricane.

Although much has been achieved since the earthquake struck, millions of people are still living in camps across the capital.
More than half a million people have left their camps in Port-au-Prince, and most have returned to their original community. However there are still about one million people without a permanent home. Since August, Islamic Relief has built 250 temporary shelters. These provide people whose houses were destroyed with a durable, weatherproof home to live in until a permanent structure can be built.

Although Islamic Relief aims to ensure conditions in our camps are as comfortable as possible, we are dedicated to providing a route out of these camps. This plan is hindered by several factors:

• There is little land available on which to build.
• Some people rely so heavily on the aid provided in the camps that they cannot afford to leave if their land is far away from an aid agency’s project.
• A number of earthquake survivors used to rent their houses and do not own the land on which they were living.

Aid agencies cannot rebuild whole cities or national economies, so in addition to building temporary shelters, Islamic Relief is targeting specific communities and working with them to provide employment and training so that they may be able to earn money to repair or rebuild their homes.

Nearly 3,000 people have died in Haiti as a result of the Cholera outbreak. Over 130,000 people have now been diagnosed with the disease, with more than 30,000 cases in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.


Distributing hygiene kits to prevent the spread of cholera

Combating Cholera

Cholera is spread when people drink water that has been contaminated by someone who has already contracted the disease. To help combat the spread of Cholera, Islamic Relief is continuing to supply clean water to residents of our three camps. 25,500 litres of clean drinking water are being distributed on a daily basis.

Twelve water tankers have been set-up, six for drinking and six for washing, and each is clearly marked and separated from the others.

Islamic Relief has also conducted training on good hygiene practices and distributed hygiene kits to all residents of the three camps in Port-au-Prince. These hygiene kits include detergents and soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toilet paper, towels, a washing basin.

Each of the camps that is coordinated by Islamic Relief has showers, toilets and clothes washing areas. There are also extensive water channels to combat flooding in the camps, which can help prevent the spread of all waterborne diseases.


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