It was 8:29 AM on August 14th when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake affected the southern department of Haiti. The natural disaster caused the collapse of houses and school buildings, and water and food supplies started to become scarce in the communities. Hundreds of families, children, and teens were affected and required urgent humanitarian assistance.
In front of this crisis, U-Reporters in Haiti took immediate action and shared their opinions on issues that matter to them.
After 48 hours of the disaster, U-Report Haiti launched 2 national U-Report polls, through Facebook and SMS, to hear the immediate needs of the young people affected by the earthquake.
In total, 5,940 people (91%) of U-Reporters who live in the 3 most-affected areas responded to the first survey on August 17 on the damage to their homes. Here is what they said:
• 28% have housing and food needs. 55% said they still stay in their destroyed homes and do not feel secure with their families. 17% mentioned they stay with a host family and 14% are homeless.
• For 35% of them, their houses have not been damaged, 31% have their houses slightly damaged, 21% have their houses seriously damaged, while 13% have their houses completely destroyed.
A second U-Report poll was launched on August 18 and received a response from 2,264 young people (48%). Again, U-Reporters shared their opinions:
• 59% said that health establishments close to their homes are damaged. For 50%, health establishments continue the same services as before the disaster.
• For 29%, health services are interrupted for the absence of doctors or nurses, 28% said that no medical equipment is available, 13% cite the absence of electricity, and 12% mentioned damage to the building.
• 50% of respondents said they have access to safe drinking water, and 50% mentioned their neighborhood school was affected by the earthquake.
As a follow-up to the polling done on the platform, 300 U-Reporters from 10 districts participated in in-person training sessions organized to help them learn more about:
• How U-Report works,
• recommendations for protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and violence against women and girls,
• water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in emergencies to prevent diseases.
This is what the U-Reporters had to say about the training conducted after the earthquake:
“Training is very useful to me. It will help me answer questions more clearly when I ask young people to sign up on U-report”, said Germathe, 16.
“I was particularly interested in the PSEA which warns us of the potential threat of sexual abuse at the earthquake aftermath as there are risks due to people’s vulnerability. Such practices happened after Hurricane Matthew hit the region in 2016. This time, I am delighted that anonymous whistleblowing mechanisms exist”, added Louise, 21.
“With U-report, our voices will be louder. We are equipped with important topics, and we will be able to inform more people on concepts that are inherent in them but that they may ignore”, shared Jordany, 27.