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Haiti: Aid Staff Struggle To Access Flood Zone

31 May 2004
Haiti: Aid staff struggle to access flood zone

Aid agencies are struggling to access communities devastated by severe flooding in Haiti.

World Vision communications manager Kate Scannell said all road access is impossible.

"Now, helicopter and boat access is the only way in, and this has been hampered by continuing rains and heavy cloud cover over the affected regions," she said.

Ms Scannell made the remarks before joining a team departing for the south-east of Haiti with a truck laden with emergency supplies.

The team will head to Jacmel then Marigot on the Caribbean coast before transferring supplies into boats and heading for affected villages further East.

Ms Scannell said some villages such as Mapou were impenetrable even by boat and helicopter crews had to wait until the weather cleared before they could be reached.

World Vision staff worked against the clock on Friday to pack emergency supplies for the relief expedition.

Supplies include plastic sheeting, blankets, clothing, water containers and water purification tablets.

The supplies were pre-positioned in country ready for the start of the Hurricane Season.

So far flooding has left an estimated 2000 people in Haiti dead or missing, and up to 20,000 people affected.

Meanwhile World Vision continues to assist similarly affected communities across the border in the Dominican Republic. The agency is conducting daily distributions of clothing, mattresses, cooking supplies and clothing in and around the town of Jimani.

Torrential rains lashed both nations last week, causing rivers of mud and swirling water to wash away hundreds of homes and destroy crops and livestock.

ENDS

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