Relief Workers Prepare Before Haiti’s Rainy Season

Salvation Army relief workers stand in front of a tent city in Port-au-Prince.

Salvation Army relief workers stand in front of a tent city in Port-au-Prince.

The Washington Post ran a story today about the threat that Haiti’s upcoming rain and flood season poses to the 700,000 people still living in tent cities in Port-au-Prince. The article discussed the severe sanitation problems that could arise and spread in the congested camps as a result of rain, saying:

“With the rains come the risk of water-borne diseases, which create intestine bacteria and diarrhea, and diarrhea is deadly to children,” said Simon Ingram, a spokesman for UNICEF. The organization estimates that 250,000 children are displaced. In addition, health-care providers noted that the rain can also escalate malaria cases as mosquitoes reproduce near stagnant water.

Relief workers are striving to educate as many displaced individuals and families as possible on the importance of registering with aid agencies so that they may better assess need and plan for relocation before the rains hit. The Salvation Army has been working to register Haitians early on in our relief efforts, and UPS donated use of their high-tech Trackpad technology to increase speed and efficiency of our registration process.

The Salvation Army has also submitted a proposal to USAID for funding to provide 10,000 transitional shelters for the 20,000 Haitians over whom we care for near our Port-au-Prince headquarters. These shelters will provide greater protection against the torrential rains and support a more sanitary environment for Haitians to live in. A more detailed description of the project proposal can be found on an earlier blog entry, and we will post any updates on this project as they become available.

For more information about our work in Haiti, please visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You may also contribute to our ongoing Haiti relief efforts by donating online.

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