August 25, 2012
Haiti Post-Isaac: Animals and People in Need
by Amelia Muccio
With the worst of Tropical Storm Isaac over, three of us walked down to Camp Sinai (Rue de Nimes), the nearest camp to where we are staying, and met with Gilet Pierre Sylvain, elected by the residents to serve as their president, though he prefers to be called the camp coordinator.
Despite the pouring rain, he gave us a tour. The camp was established right after the 2010 earthquake and has 400-500 families living there now, with the population actually growing as other camps close. Although Sinai was initially assisted by several outside organizations, that is no longer the case. There is a school there that serves 88 students.
Suffering after the storm
During the storm last night, many tents collapsed. There is a desperate need for tarps and rope to rebuild tents for the families who lost their only shelter. They are also running short on food; Mr. Sylvain estimates that the unemployment rate in Camp Sinai is almost 100 percent. Finally, due to contamination, they currently have no drinkable water.
We spotted several dogs and cats in the camp. The dogs ran away from us. If a family doesn't have a home now, neither does their pet.
Efforts to help
This camp is well-organized and in need of humanitarian aid. We are attempting to reach out to nongovernmental organizations for assistance and hope to partner with them. Undoubtedly, not only the people but also the animals in the camps are already suffering due to the lack of infrastructure destroyed by Isaac. We will do what we can do help. Support our response to this and other disasters.
We are grateful for the generous support of our partner, Best Friends Animal Society, without which we could not accomplish this vital work.
Amelia Muccio is Director, Haiti Project & Disaster Operations for HSI.