Hurricane Eta and Iota has left a trail of devastation within Honduras. A week after Hurricane Iota became the latest storm hit the country, thousands of Hondurans are trying to return to their homes. Many homes no longer exist. Other have been destroyed by debris and flooding. As Hurricane Iota ripped through many parts of Honduras, thousands were still recovering from Eta, which struck two weeks earlier.
More than 3 million people have been affected by both hurricanes. Over 80 people have lost their lives and many people remain unaccounted for. Severe flooding and landslides have left thousands displaced. Many water sources are damaged, and in some of the most critical areas. 700 road have been destroyed, making assistance and rescue even more difficult.
Remote Regions Devastated
The GOAL-supported community of La Moskitia, located in the Gracias a Dios department has been badly affected. Over 41,000 people in this area were affected by both Eta and Iota. The region is remote, only reachable by plane or boat, increasing the vulnerability of those most in need. Homes within this area are mostly build by wood. And little has been left standing. The area comprises almost a fifth of Honduras’s territory. It is home to 80,000 people and to four different indigenous groups.
To help support La Moskitia, the UK’s Royal Navy´s support ship, the RFA Argus, is helping the US military to do critical damage assessment. This information is vital and will help to aid the emergency response already underway. Relief aid is currently being distributed from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and USAID.
The FCO is providing 24 tonnes of vital disaster recovery aid, including shelter kits, cooking utensils and sanitation for those most affected. The Departmental Emergency Committee of Gracias a Dios and GOAL are helping to distribute aid to affected communities.
Much work will need to be done to address the rebuild. The communities of the Moskitia area mainly relay on subsistence agriculture and artisanal fishing. Early indications are that most communities have seen their livelihoods completely destroyed. Prior to Hurricane Eta and Iota, both sectors were already suffering from a loss in production due to the Covid- 19. A survey by GOAL estimates that the losses in the fishing sector during 2020 exceed 58 million lempiras (approximately 2 million euros) due to the impact of both Hurricane’s and Covid-19. The thousands who are affected by the disaster have not only lost their homes, but now their livelihoods.
Amid a global pandemic, La Moskitia and Honduras faces significant challenges ahead. You can support GOAL’s response with a donation today.