Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on October 4, 2016. High waves, excessive rainfall, and hurricane-force winds caused extensive damage, affecting communication and transportation networks, crops, buildings, and the lives of 1.4 million people. This tremendous storm has displaced many families who are forced to live in emergency shelters indefinitely, where they face elevated risk of disease and violence. Housing collapses constitute a man-made problem that can be corrected to mitigate future risk.
Safe construction is necessary to mitigate damage, destruction, injury, and death in disasters like Matthew. We are grateful to have worked with so many communities in Haiti to build safer homes and schools over the past several years. This project will employ this experience to support disaster resilience in affected communities and increase the safety of buildings before the next hurricane. So far, we have completed evaluations of three schools in Grand'Anse to determine the cause of collapse.
By educating communities on disaster preparedness and risk reduction, we strive to have a long-term impact on the families impacted by Hurricane Matthew. We will train local engineers and builders to design and build safer homes and schools for the community, with our technical assistance and construction oversight. This project has the potential to impact thousands, in addition to the thousands we have already worked with in Port-au-Prince and the Nord (North) department.
Updates on Build Change programs on the ground