Haiti - Rebuilding safe houses after the emergency

20 February 2017

(ANS - Port-au-Prince) - After the emergency phase following the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, now is the time to start again. The context is very difficult. Official data report that the hurricane caused 548 deaths, 438 wounded and 128 missing, along with landslides and floods, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, water access problems and damage to electricity services.

Here are some figures:

  • 2.1 million people were affected, of whom 894,000 were children;
  • Approximately 141,000 displaced people are living in hundreds of temporary structures;
  • 69% of the population of the South and Grand'Anse department have inadequate food supplies;
  • About 800,000 people need food assistance;
  • In the South department, 90% of homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

The needs of the population include housing, hospitals and schools, secondary roads, the restoration of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, access to food, clean water and electricity and education.

The Salesian Vocational Training Centre in Les Cayes did not suffer significant damage. It became a landmark for the people and the logistics base for first aid measures provided by the Salesians: distributing food to about 900 families, activities for young people and children, a place to recharge phones (thanks to a generator) given the lack of electricity, a drinking water supply, and accommodation for some families left homeless.

The current reconstruction phase also involves the Don Bosco Missions Association of Turin. In collaboration with the International Volunteers for Development they have undertaken to carry out repairs to houses and work to reduce the vulnerability to environmental disasters.   

The intervention plan includes the supply of materials needed for repairs, and technical support and awareness of good construction practices for safe housing units. Training and technical supervision by the staff of the Rinaldi Foundation and the vocational school teachers also provide accompaniment during the implementation of the rehabilitation.

The project includes the rehabilitation of 158 homes in the Bergeau district of Les Cayes and Camp-Perrin in the South Department of Haiti, and will ensure that about 790 people will have a home again.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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