(NewsNation Now) — Honduras is still recovering after being devastated by not one but two Category 4 hurricanes in the span of just two weeks last month.
The storms destroyed bridges, roads, homes and schools, and cut off running water and emergency supply lines to communities across the country.
Thousands are still homeless and struggling to secure basic necessities. Relief organizations say the devastation is unprecedented.
NewsNation spoke to Dr. Vlatko Uzevski with Project HOPE. Uzevski is leading an emergency response team in Honduras.
In his own words, Uzevski describes just how dire the situation is in Honduras:
“When you visit the affected areas, the first thing that that is coming to your eye, it’s the destruction and especially of the water system of the country. Also, it’s very visible landslides that you see around them, it damaged roads and bridges on the huge bridges on the rivers that are completely wiped out. So there are some communities that are completely cut off from the from the civilization.
“In some cases, they’re using small boats, so they can just cross the river and work for another two, three, four hours until they get home. They’re bringing all their supplies by foot, hand carrying everything around. So it is really visible. The small roads, the big roads that are that are destroyed.
“Seeing all this destruction of the water, of the water system, you know what, what you will expect that it’s happening. So the first concern for everyone when you are talking to the people or to the state holders, to everyone is securing safe water for people. And now lately what is becoming a real issue. And you can feel it, I have felt it very much on my skin. It’s the rising mosquito numbers. So because people don’t have water running water, everyone is storing water everywhere. And this storage of the water, it’s great for the mosquitoes. So everyone, anecdotally and from the stakeholders, we are hearing that this is becoming a real issue. And it’s causing another health issues. Of course the vector of vector-borne diseases, then get the number of dengue cases it’s rising and the number of malaria cases as well. We are seeing a lot of skin diseases because of the lack of water, clean water. People are taking a bath in the small creeks that are passing by or with the rainwater. Almost all of these families depend on their crops. And a lot of these were just destroyed during the hurricane. This is an income for the families, but it’s also food for the families.
“Honduras, as every other country in the world, absolutely has a problem with COVID. For the people in the affected areas, COVID is their secondary problem because they have many more problems after the hurricane. So yes, they are aware about COVID, they are wearing masks as much as possible. They are keeping distance as much as possible. But unfortunately, this is not possible. Especially in the shelters where people are sleeping together or 15-20 people in a classroom in school.
“It will be tough. It will be tough recovery for the country for sure. People lost everything about trying to continue the life as much as you know, as it is now.“
To donate or learn more about Project HOPE, go to projecthope.org.