“As soon as the hurricane moved on, one of the first assessments we made was the very poor state of the roads – which were never fantastic to begin with – and we focused on opening [them] up to allow aid to reach the population,”
He said that thanks to the efforts of MINUSTAH engineers and local authorities, the roads have been cleared and there is now access from the
As such, MINUSTAH significantly boosted its engineering capacity in
On related issues, he said the Mission is reviewing police stations, while also distributing water purification systems to limit the spread of diseases. Yesterday, a convoy of 26 trucks left
“We should pay tribute to the capacities of the local authorities in Haiti,” he noted, as they have been pushing preventive action, wishing to be more involved than they had been in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Indeed, he said, the decision by local authorities to evacuate some populations had saved lives.
Responding to questions,
“The Government is very conscious of the confusion – much of it motivated by extremely good intentions – in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake,” he said, and with that in mind, the authorities are trying to centralize all requests in
As for preparations ahead of the hurricane, he said the
Before the hurricane,
“There are perhaps some 175,000 people are today in shelters,” he stated, responding to another question, but noted that there are also many people who have not left their homes though the structures themselves were destroyed in the storm. Tarps, household equipment and hygiene kits are being made available for those who did not want to leave their homes, he added.
As a result of the hurricane, septic trenches had been flooded, leading to focal contamination of clean water sources. “There wasn't much in the way of available clean drinking water in many of these areas, but now even that has been contaminated and there are hundreds of cases of diarrheal diseases,” explained
“Some of these are cholera and some are not, but because of the lack of [our] presence in the field, we are not sure,” he said, but added that perhaps 500 cases of diarrheal disease had been treated. “This is why we are rushing in chlorination kits as a priority, and we have just received the news of one million cholera vaccines that will be deployed to these areas soon,” he stressed.
SOURCE UN News Centre