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Cablegate: Haiti Usaid/Dart Assessment in Leogane, Petit Goave, And


DE RUEHPU #0136/01 0380047
O 070045Z FEB 10



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: PORT A 0054; PORT A 0058; PORT A 0060

1. Summary. On February 3 and 4, an assessment team from USAID's
Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) and USAID/Haiti
visited the earthquake-affected cities of Leogane, Petit Goave, and
Grand Goave in West Department. According to the team, the
provision of food and shelter assistance and poor sanitation
conditions remain critical challenges to the humanitarian response
in the areas assessed. The team confirmed that parts of Petit
Goave sustained heavy earthquake damage, with approximately 60
percent of buildings in the downtown area destroyed or damaged.
The USAID assessment team noted that U.N. agencies are largely
absent in Petit Goave and Grand Goave In addition, no local cluster
system has been established to facilitate coordination between
relief agencies. End summary.

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Visit to Leogane


2. On February 3, the USAID team visited Leogane, one of the most
severely earthquake-affected areas, to assess humanitarian
conditions. [Note: Reftel 0098 reports on a previous USAID/DART
assessment visit to Leogane. End Note.] At a spontaneous
settlement at the city stadium, which currently accommodates
approximately 6,000 people, residents reported sufficient water
availability through relief agency efforts. However, the USAID
team notes that poor sanitation conditions have likely contributed
to an increased incidence of diarrhea in the settlement. USAID's
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
implementing partners Save the Children/US (SC/US) and the Agency
for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) have begun
latrine and shower construction at the site, with a combined target
of 120 latrines. USAID staff noted SC/US efforts to address
protection concerns through the installation of lighting at latrine
and shower locations. SC/US and ACTED also reported plans to
implement additional emergency sanitation programs at the city
stadium and in other spontaneous settlements in the Leogane area.

3. USAID staff report that settlement residents have started to
construct temporary housing with salvaged materials, including wood
and corrugated iron sheeting. However, shelter assistance remains
a critical need at the city stadium, as most families are living
under bed sheets and plastic sheeting of poor quality, according to
the USAID team. Residents expressed concern regarding shelter
conditions once the rainy season begins.

4. USAID staff report that ACTED is distributing U.N. World Food
Program (WFP)-provided food at the city stadium settlement, where
the team also observed families cooking. In addition, the
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reported plans to set up kitchen
units to provide hot meals for the settlement, as part of an
agreement with WFP. NRC has the capacity to provide hot meals for
up to 10,000 people per day.

5. The USAID team also visited the Leogane field hospital operated
by SC/US, which is serving as the primary local referral hospital
for x-rays and surgical procedures. Hospital staff reported a
prevalence of diarrhea, respiratory infections, and infected
wounds, as well as several cases of malnutrition. Hospital staff
highlighted the need for medical supplies and support in augmenting
disease-reporting capacity. Hospital staff members were unfamiliar
with the system of free medical supplies available through the Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO)-supported Government of Haiti
(GoH) Ministry of Health (MOH) warehouse PROMESS.

6. Approximately 2,500 displaced persons are utilizing the grounds
of the SC/US-managed field hospital as a spontaneous settlement.
USAID staff report that the site has not received food or relief
commodity assistance to date.


Visit to Petit Goave and Grand Goave


7. On February 3 and 4, the USAID team visited Petit Goave and
Grand Goave, evaluating humanitarian conditions in seven displaced
person settlements, including the largest settlement in Petit
Goave, which is located on the grounds of Ecole des Freres and
hosts between 1,700 and 1,800 people. The number of families
living in settlements visited range from approximately 50 to 560.
The team also assessed conditions throughout both cities, reporting
few settlements sites overall, with many people camping as close to
their houses as possible - whether damaged or not. The assessment
team notes widespread damage in downtown Petit Goave, with 60
percent of buildings destroyed or severely damaged, and severe
damage in the city's Petit-Guinee and Tapion neighborhoods as well.


Food, Shelter, and Livelihoods


8. According to the USAID team, residents and relief organizations
in Petit Goave and Grand Goave identified food as a priority need.
Some settlements have received sporadic distributions of meals
ready-to-eat (MREs) and humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) through
the U.S. Military, while others are receiving food from faith-based
organizations. Individuals in some sites reported buying food from
the market. However, both individuals and organizations noted that
resources and cash to purchase food are either dwindling or have
already been depleted. A representative from a faith-based
organization who has worked in Grand Goave for several years noted
that although food is available in the market, prices have
increased significantly. The USAID team recommends that WFP and
other food aid agencies conduct an assessment in Petit Goave, Grand
Goave, and rural areas to determine the most appropriate food
assistance response.

9. The USAID team notes that in the seven settlements sites
visited in Petit Goave and Grand Goave, the majority of residents
require shelter assistance to supplement self-constructed
structures made of bed sheets, sticks, poor-quality plastic
sheeting, and, in some cases, salvaged wood and corrugated iron
sheeting. At Grand Goave's settlements in the Servants of All
Ministries orphanage and the central square, some residents have
benefited from a limited distribution of high-quality reinforced
plastic sheeting provided by the Servants of All Ministries
organization and Medecins Sans Frontieres, respectively. However,
the quantities provided remain insufficient for the settlements'
entire population. In addition, provision of emergency relief
supplies, including hygiene kits and kitchen sets, has been limited
in the majority of settlements to date.

10. Residents at several sites reported an unconfirmed number of
displaced persons from Port-au-Prince residing with host families
in Petit Goave and Grand Goave - both in houses and in displaced
persons settlements.

11. According to settlement residents interviewed by the
assessment team, most families living in Petit Goave and Grand
Goave depend on small-scale commerce for livelihoods. In Grand
Goave, residents indicated that the financial situation for most
was challenging prior to the earthquake and requested jobs,
particularly for the youth. In rural areas outside cities,
families primarily depend on agriculture or small-scale commerce
for livelihoods. However, families require seeds and tools to
prepare for the upcoming agricultural season, as most have eaten
saved seed stocks.


Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)


12. The USAID/DART WASH advisor reports inadequate coverage of
water needs in spontaneous settlements in Petit Goave and Grand
Goave with relief agencies distributing a limited quantity of
bottled water and filling a small number of water bladders.
Outside settlement sites and city centers, however, the WASH
advisor estimates that community water access is comparable to the
pre-earthquake period.

13. The WASH advisor reports ongoing efforts to assess piped
networks and determine necessary repairs. With no timeline
provided for the completion of repairs, however, relief
organizations are advocating for short-term solutions to increase
water availability and access. To this end, Oxfam is coordinating
WASH partners and helping to treat spring water, while other
agencies in Petit Goave and Grand Goave reported plans to increase
water tankering capacity and the number of water bladders serving
spontaneous settlement sites in and around the cities.

14. The USAID/DART WASH advisor identified two wells with
motorized pumps and large storage tanks in Grand Goave city center,
which are currently not functioning due to power outages. The WASH
advisor notes that using generators to temporarily re-establish
power to the wells would significantly improve conditions in
downtown Grand Goave. [Note: Prior to the earthquake, Petit Goave
and Grand Goave, as well as Miragoane, had 24-hour electricity, due
to the recent installation of a new power plant in Petit Goave.
According to Grand Goave residents, the earthquake did not damage
the power plant, but some electrical lines and poles have fallen
down. The UAID team was not able to corroborate these reports.
End note.]

15. Staff at an orphanage in Grand Goave reported that the U.S.
Navy had tested a number of hand-pumped wells for bacteria and
identified some contamination, including at the orphanage. The
WASH advisor emphasized the need for aquatab or water guard
distributions, in addition to further bacteria testing due to
groundwater contamination concerns. In addition, households in
assessed areas did not follow water treatment practices prior to
the earthquake, suggesting a need for agencies to educate
beneficiaries on the use of treatment products.

16. The WASH advisor observed a minimal number of latrines in
spontaneous settlement sites in and around Petit Goave and Grand
Goave, but noted sufficient space and plans to expand construction
of latrines and sanitation facilities, where needed. Residents in
downtown areas reported latrine access for approximately 80 percent
of households, although many people remain fearful of entering
houses - many of which sustained damage in the earthquake. Several
organizations have already commenced latrine construction in areas
of Petit Goave and Grand Goave, including USAID/OFDA partner
Samaritan's Purse. The WASH advisor recommends that construction
of additional latrines and sanitation facilities be accompanied by
hygiene promotion activities to help reduce diarrheal rates in

17. The WASH advisor also observed moderate quantities of refuse in
assessed areas, in contrast to the large quantities of refuse at
overcrowded sites in Port-au-Prince. The assessment team also
observed trucks and work crews working to remove refuse piles
throughout the cities. The exception is Gaston settlement in Petit
Goave, where approximately 1,850 people live on a refuse dumping

18. The USAID assessment team notes shortages of water containers,
hygiene kits, and soap in many areas, with only limited
distributions by aid agencies in both cities reported to date.
While soap is available in the market, individuals lack adequate
resources to purchase hygiene supplies and likely prioritize food
purchases. According to the USAID team, Oxfam plans to distribute
emergency relief supplies to approximately 1,500 families this
week, including buckets with a lid and spigot, plastic sheeting,
wood, and hygiene kits.




19. The USAID team notes that limited U.N. presence in Petit Goave
and Grand Goave is hampering coordination, medical referrals, and
availability of medical supplies in the area. The USAID/DART
Health advisor highlights that the large number of short-term
medical volunteers operating in the region requires enhanced
coordination. Volunteer doctors and military medics on short-term
rotations are largely addressing current gaps in health care, but
likely leaving new health care coverage gaps in coming weeks and
months that will require expanded mobile clinic services.

20. According to the USAID/DART Health advisor, shortages of
medicines, although not severe, are more widespread in Leogane,
Petit Goave, and Grand Goave than in the Port-au-Prince area.
Hospital staff also had limited familiarity with the system of free
medical supplies available through the PROMESS warehouse.
According to the Health Cluster, PROMESS had provided more than 250
organizations with medicines and medical supplies as of February 4.

21. To augment coordination and health service availability, the
USAID team recommends an expansion of U.N. agency presence,
including PAHO, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF),
to western areas outside Port-au-Prince. The assessment team also
identified the need for enhanced outreach and messaging in the
region to increase awareness of the PROMESS system. In addition,
the team notes the utility of potentially establishing a
sub-warehouse in the western region of West Department to
facilitate the provision of supplies to health facilities in the

22. USAID staff note that clinics and field hospitals in Leogane,
Petit Goave, and Grand Goave have reported elevated cases of
diarrhea, with significant increases in recent days. USAID staff
highlight the need to augment currently limited reporting and
surveillance mechanisms in the region.

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Debris Removal and Cash-for-Work Activities in Petit Goave

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23. USAID/Haiti partner CHF International commenced cash-for-work
activities in Petit Goave on February 1 and was employing 429
people in 35 sites by February 5. CHF plans to rapidly increase
the number of people participating in the program. USAID staff
observed work crews wearing t-shirts with GoH, USAID, and CHF logos
cleaning and removing debris and rubble from streets throughout
Petit Goave. CHF pays beneficiaries 200 gourdes (approximately USD
5) for each eight-hour work day. CHF is prioritizing rubble and
debris removal in the following order: streets and roads, public
buildings, and private residences.

24. USAID/Haiti partner the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) is also conducting cash-for-work activities in
Petit Goave. As of January 5, IOM was employing 1,110 people in
six sites.




25. The USAID assessment team noted that U.N. agencies are largely
absent in Petit Goave and Grand Goave. As a result, coordination
among relief agencies remains challenging. Although WFP provided
MREs and HDRs, which the U.S. Military is distributing in
coordination with local government councils and community-based
organizations, WFP does not have representatives in the area.
Currently coordination structures have been established only in
Leogane, however, OCHA has stated that additional localized
coordination mechanisms are needed for Petit Goave and Grand Goave.

26. While no formal cluster system exists in Petit Goave and Grand
Goave, the USAID team reported increased coordination between
relief agencies in Petit Goave, with IOM assuming a lead role and
CHF supporting with information management. However, relief
agencies operating in the area continue to advocate for the
establishment of OCHA presence to facilitate coordination. The
USAID team strongly encourages the U.N. to further develop the
cluster system outside Port-au-Prince, including an OCHA presence
in Petit Goave and Grand Goave.

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Rural Areas around Petit Goave and Grand Goave

--------------------------------------------- -

27. Oxfam International reported to the USAID team that two of
Grand Goave's 12 municipality sections are inaccessible due to road
damage. These two sections are rural, requiring a 20 km walk from
the point where vehicles must stop to where people are living. As
a result, limited relief supplies have reached these remote
locations. Occasionally, residents from these municipality
sections walk to other areas in an attempt to obtain supplies. No
known assessments have been conducted in these two sections due to
location and inaccessibility. According to Oxfam, houses in the
isolated municipality sections are built with rocks, wood, and some
concrete, with residents living with extended families in compounds
composed of small buildings. Oxfam reports that some of the area's
houses have likely collapsed, requiring the provision of shelter
materials prior to the rainy season will be essential. In
addition, Oxfam reports that Petit Goave's 10 rural and remote
municipality sections have not received emergency relief supplies.


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