On October 4 and 5, Hurricane Matthew hit Cuba, in particular Guantanamo province, which experienced 200-250 km/h winds, heavy rain for eight hours and a sea level surge in the range of 6-8 metres. Approximately 90% of the Cuban population affected by the category 4 hurricane are from this province.
Guantanamo province sustained considerable damage to its housing and water infrastructure. Close to one million people were evacuated, with the majority (93%) finding refuge with host families. More than 176,000 were isolated due to the heavy road damage and fallen bridges in some areas.
Oxfam Canada implemented a humanitarian response program to meet basic shelter needs, increase access to safe drinking water, improve hygiene practices and provide protection for the most vulnerable people affected by the hurricane, particularly women and children.
They distributed non-food items to 1,393 families (tarps, rope, cutter, etc.), and provided hygiene and water kits (including water purification tablets), to reduce risk of water-borne diseases. They also supplied educational materials and conducted informational sessions on good hygiene practices for 1,393 families.