November 09, 2010
|JRS created an organizational preparedness system composed of an emergency team in each camp for displaced people in Port au Prince, to respond in an organized way to emergency needs in preparation to the serious threat posed by the hurricane.|
|In Port au Prince we mobilized several members of our team to accompany people, to document their situation and their needs and to serve them to the best of our ability. U|
(Port au Prince, Haiti) November 9, 2010 – Hurricane Tomas brought heavy rain and flooding to much of Haiti over the weekend. The river Slaughter, which marks the border between Haiti and the Dominican republic between Ounaminthe and Djabon, overflowed its banks and flooded several neighborhoods.
The Jesuit Refugee Service facility in Ounaminthe, which ordinarily can house up to 50 people, brought in 50 additional mattresses to attempt to serve the more than 150 people a day who sought shelter. Additionally, JRS teams are providing food and first aid to those in need, especially women and infants.
JRS created an organizational preparedness system composed of an emergency team in each camp for displaced people in Port au Prince, to respond in an organized way to emergency needs in preparation to the serious threat posed by the hurricane.
The coordination team decided to respect the instructions of the government, therefore we chose to release our employees from work the day of the hurricane, since we did not have enough information to allow us to make an informed decision about the risk to our personnel. Those members of the team who were willing to take the risk of working were allowed to work, however.
In Port au Prince we mobilized several members of our team to accompany people, to document their situation and their needs and to serve them to the best of our ability. Until late afternoon we made field visits, reinforcing the steps to prevent cholera, maintaining contact with the border zones, and facilitating existing humanitarian support activities and case evaluation.
Borders and the Cholera Situation: Ounaminthe/Dajabon
The staff in Ounaminthe informed us that the northern border remains closed, and people continue their demonstrations. After the occurrence of disorderly demonstrations the staff went to find the leaders to sensitize them to the fact that they should avoid taking actions that will have negative consequences for the demonstrators. The demonstrators demand the re-opening of the market of Dajabon. Dominicans of Dajabon, the retailers, were on strike since they cannot sell their products and their services to their primary clients – Haitians – who cannot reach their shops because of the border closing.
The Haitians continue to protest and make barricades to block the activities of the city. The fundamental reason is that the border is closed and they do not have access to their goods on the Dominican side, and they have learned that people are looting the products Haitians have stored there. The people feel humiliated since they are being excluded from the Dominican Republic for being suspected carriers of cholera. The demonstrations that began Thursday continue. The solution that is evolving is to demand that the Haitian government establish a market on the Haitian side of the border.
They are demanding that the Haitian government send a representative from the ministry to negotiate with them to guarantee the construction of a market on the Haitian side. Belladere Mayor Emile Luckner has told us that the resolution of the situation goes beyond the capacity of the local authorities. However, the local authorities are negotiating with the leaders to avoid disruption while trying to maintain relations with the Dominican authorities.
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