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As earthquake damaged roads remain blocked, NGOs rely on HI for access by sea

Emergency
Haiti

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) provides the only maritime transport for humanitarian aid in the Southwest of Haiti. This logistics platform plans to deliver over 760 tons of food and relief supplies.

HI and Atlas Logistic coordinate the supply of essential items from Cayes harbour (south of Haïti) to the Tiburon department, October 2016.

HI and Atlas Logistic coordinate the supply of essential items from Cayes harbour (south of Haïti) to the Tiburon department, October 2016. | © HI / Archives

In response to the earthquake, HI plans to organize shipment pooling for NGOs and send around 760 tons of food, as well as medical supplies and essential non-food items by the end of August.  

Road access remains blocked

Following the August 14 earthquake that ravaged the Southwestern region of Haiti, some of the most affected areas have been inaccessible by road due to damage and landslides following the quake, slowing humanitarian response. With nearly 7000 people injured and basic needs in urgent demand, it is essential that relief supplies reach the communities as quickly as possible. 

With tropical depression ‘Grace’ having freshly hit the already devastated region, roads are expected to be even further damaged.

HI offers an alternative route

Since June 2020, HI has implemented a maritime logistics project (MERLUH[1]), which enables humanitarian organizations in Haiti to transport relief materials by sea during times of crisis. Its objective is to provide an alternative, ecological method of aid transport to access isolated communities when roads are blocked. Operated by Atlas Logistics in partnership with the NGO AQUADEV, the fleet of 10 sailboats consolidates and transports up to 160 tons of material to ports around the south of Haiti. 

“After Saturday’s earthquake, there have been major problems with road accessibility. For example, departmental road #7, which links the impacted regions of South and Grand’Anse, is completely blocked. Project MERLUH remains the only way for many NGOs to deliver aid by sea. The ports that were most affected by the earthquake are ones we already serve, so we know the routes, regulations and security measures. This saves time, reduces risk and lends our expertise in maritime transport.” 

Marvin Vidon, HI's head of transport logistics

Deliveries from Port au Prince to Jeremie take around 48 hours to complete, depending on the wind. They are subject to a series of difficulties including weather, security and maritime traffic rules.

 

[1] « Mer Logistique et Urgence Haiti » / Maritime Logistics and Haiti Emergency

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