In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated the islands of Puerto Rico and Dominica. The hurricane caused multiple fatalities and destroyed much of both islands' key infrastructure - electrical, water and agricultural - buildings and homes. Today, months after Hurricane Maria struck, Dominica and Puerto Rico are still reeling from the damage inflicted. Although the situation is slowly normalizing, remote communities are struggling to re-establish their routines and livelihoods.
IsraAID's team in Dominica continues to rebuild hurricane-destroyed roofs; work with the Ministry of Education; develop hurricane-resistant construction methods & practices for disaster risk management; and provide livelihood opportunities through beekeeping. In Puerto Rico, IsraAID is constructing a gravity water filtration system for the community of Barrio Real, training local educators on how to provide Psychological First Aid to students, and working to build disaster-resilient communities.
The first few weeks following a disaster are crucial towards minimizing its long-term destructive effects. Beyond that, as part of IsraAID's core emphasis on long-term, sustainable recovery, the team is coordinating and engaging with local authorities and communities to a) build a longer-term recovery strategy, and b) share expertise and knowledge in sectors such as, psycho-social support and water, sanitation and hygiene, which IsraAID has accrued in 17 years of operations across 46 countries.