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Hurricane Matthew - one week on

Hurricane Matthew - one week on

A boy escapes the flood waters caused by hurricane Matthew in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti last Tuesday, causing severe flooding and destroying entire towns with its 150mph winds. So far around 900 people have died, but more are feared dead in areas that so far have been very hard to reach. Roads have been demolished, meaning access to parts of the country is extremely difficult.

Plan International has been working to deliver aid to Haitians

Plan International has been working on the island for 43 years, so when the hurricane landed we were one of the first NGOs to respond.

Our work over the coming days and weeks will aim to help 100,000 people, but there are estimated to be 1.3 million people affected by the hurricane - 897,000 of these being children.

So far we’ve distributed hygiene, food and shelter kits in four regions of the island, but more is needed - around 750,000 people are in need of food assistance.

Dadie lost everything in the hurricane, but was able to get her five children to safety

Fortunately I saved my children

Dadie, 38, and her five children were warned about the hurricane, but didn’t think the floods would cause such terrible damage: “My home no longer exists. Everything happened very quickly, I lost everything but I saved my children and that is the most important thing.”

One of Dadie’s children is a Plan International sponsored child, but despite the support from Plan International, her family and around 100 others in just one community, are severely affected. “We need water, food, bedding and shelter urgently.”

The health of the survivors is of huge concern, as cholera outbreaks on the island could become much worse with a lack of clean water. Much more work is needed to stop this becoming an epidemic, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is monitoring the situation carefully. Mosquitos have also multiplied in numbers since the hurricane and families sleeping in temporary shelters have little protection from them. People have lost everything, Rosena is 37 and has four daughters, she says:

We lost our home, our garden was destroyed, we lost our cattle, our furniture and even our identity papers.

Schools have also been destroyed by the hurricane, and as always, education will become a key priority for Plan International. 75,000 children have found themselves without a school and once the immediate relief effort eases, Plan International will look at the needs of these children whose education has stopped, setting up temporary classrooms and working with the government to ensure children in need are prioritised.

A school that is badly flooded in Haiti