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Aid arriving for Haiti: water and sanitation a priority

Relief efforts continued four days after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti resulting in wide-spread destruction and unimaginable loss of life.

Urgent relief supplies are making their way onto the island, however damage sustained at Port-au-Prince’s primary port, and congestion at its airport have forced UNICEF and her partners to explore alternate routes to get desperately needed aid to quake victims. One way has been diverting flights into the Dominican Republic” Haiti’s neighbor to the east”and then trucking supplies across the border in convoys.


Specially chartered British Airways jet sits on tarmac in Santo Domingo after arriving from UNICEF's Supply Division in Copenhagen. The urgently needed relief supplies will be trucked across the border in convoys.
© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/Alleyne/2010
Specially chartered British Airways jet sits on tarmac in Santo Domingo after arriving from UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen. The urgently needed relief supplies will be trucked across the border in convoys.

One such flight recently landed in the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, carrying UNICEF relief supplies destined for Port-au-Prince. The specially chartered flight arrived from UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen on a British Airways jumbo jet. The UK carrier and UNICEF partner, OXFAM helped facilitate the delivery from Denmark and British Airways flight crew were on hand to assist in the offloading of supplies.

On board were tents and reinforced tarpaulin for the provision of temporary shelter, health and hygiene kits, including obstetric and surgical supplies, as well as GPS receivers to help mitigate the challenges in telecommunication and logistical coordination. As cluster lead for water and sanitation in Haiti, one of UNICEF’s priorities is the distribution of family water kits, water purification supplies and other supplies for household-level sanitation.


richard-haiti.jpg
Our colleague Richard Alleyne is blogging from Haiti on UNICEF’s disaster relief efforts for children.

Relief efforts continued four days after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti resulting in wide-spread destruction and unimaginable loss of life.

Urgent relief supplies are making their way onto the island, however damage sustained at Port-au-Prince’s primary port, and congestion at its airport have forced UNICEF and her partners to explore alternate routes to get desperately needed aid to quake victims. One way has been diverting flights into the Dominican Republic” Haiti’s neighbor to the east”and then trucking supplies across the border in convoys.

One such flight recently landed in the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, carrying UNICEF relief supplies destined for Port-au-Prince. The specially chartered flight arrived from UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen on a British Airways jumbo jet. The UK carrier and UNICEF partner, OXFAM helped facilitate the delivery from Denmark and British Airways flight crew were on hand to assist in the offloading of supplies.

On board were tents and reinforced tarpaulin for the provision of temporary shelter, health and hygiene kits, including obstetric and surgical supplies, as well as GPS receivers to help mitigate the challenges in telecommunication and logistical coordination. As cluster lead for water and sanitation in Haiti, one of UNICEF’s priorities is the distribution of family water kits, water purification supplies and other supplies for household-level sanitation.


Relief supplies ready to be offloaded.
© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009
Relief supplies ready to be offloaded. To view more images from Haiti visit our Flickr account.

aside from simply delivering these essential supplies, we must also work to promote hygiene by providing soap and issuing messages in French and Creole on preventing and treating diarrhea, cholera and dysentery,

3 Comments

  1. Costas Vitkon
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t understand, why always the poorer and more underdeveloped countries have this disasters. It’s like they don’t have enough problems on their own to handle.Remember Indonesia and the tsunami a few years ago. I was there the year before and i can tell you that this place is very very poor. I have never been to Haiti but i ve seen pictures and documentaries and it’s the same. It is really unfair for these already suffering people from poverty and poor living conditions to suffer even more, lose members of their family and even their own lives. At times like this i really question, WHY?

  2. Adam Wride
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Costas Vitkon: Bad things happen all over the world. The difference is in the people’s ability to withstand and recover. San Francisco experienced a 6.9 earthquake in 1989 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Loma_Prieta_earthquake but only 63 people died (63 too many, but many orders of mangnitude fewer than the +200k expected in Haiti).

    Let’s not forget Haiti now, nor 10 years from now.

  3. Clair
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Please hurry! These wonderful people in Haiti, who deserve so much more, are in dire need of supplies!
    It seems that there should be a better way, a world more prepared? decision makers on the ground there? I think the Haitians are are suffering needlessly. We are so inefficient to our responses to disaster.
    Please Hurry!

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