Hurricane Matthew packed a punch last weekend.
At home in North Carolina, rivers continue to rise prompting ongoing school closures, isolating cities like Greenville and causing disruptions in power in the Triangle and further east to Fayetteville and Lumberton. Electricity and water remain compromised in many of these communities.
For Carlo Diy, founder of Haiti Hub, the damage at home reminds him of the storm’s impact on Haiti. His Durham-based startup uses digital tools to teach Haitian Creole, which he says is a key skill for aid workers to engage communities in decision-making in the aftermath of a crisis like the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Hurricane Matthew spared little in Haiti last week, claiming more than 900 lives, knocking down homes and shredding newly rebuilt infrastructure.
“Initially, downed bridges made reaching the west extremely dangerous or impossible. As flood waters have receded, the downed bridges have become less of an issue since convoys can just drive across the relatively shallow riverbeds,” says Diy. “But in the short term, we are all holding our breath to see if cholera cases spike wildly because of flood waters mixing sewage with sources of drinking water.”
Recovery efforts are already underway, but not without critical analysis from those familiar with the country’s history.
Diy cited a pattern of natural disasters followed by what he describes as systematic failures to equip Haitians to rebuild.
“We’re not talking about unforeseen disasters anymore,” says Diy. “This is a pattern of disaster.”