2-2-10 Update from our Haiti Director Dalebrun Esther

We’ve received critical updates from our Haiti Director Dalebrun Esther yesterday.

1. Satellite Phone

Dalebrun has just received the satellite phone that the IA office sent to Port-au-Prince. We acquired it to improve communication between Haiti and the DC-based office. The phone was tested, both making and receiving calls, with limited success. Dalebrun was able to make a call to one of our volunteers, but was cut off after about 30 seconds. We’re looking into it.

2. Banking

The bank that IA is using is working, and we are now able to send money to Dalebrun for our everyday operating costs, including leasing private reservoirs to provide water to Haitian neighborhoods.

3. Networking

In Petionville, Dalebrun has been attending water, sanitation, and hygiene meetings with DINEPA, the Haiti water agency; UN bodies; and leading humanitarian and disaster response groups. Although very limited steps for actual coordination took place, it was a positive first step for future meetings. Dalebrun was also able to network with a counterpart from a well-known aid group. They laid the groundwork for a possible partnership in distributed water in Port-au-Prince by using IA’s chlorine tablets and the other group’s trucks.

4. Other Constraints and Challenges

Dalebrun was unable to rent any trucks for water delivery last weekend because competing truck demand by the CICR (Red Cross) and DINEPA was so sharp. Dalebrun did distribute water with IA’s truck, equivalent to about one 3,100-gallon load per day. However, the demand is still many times what we are able to supply.

Dalebrun is understandably overworked, and looking for an assistant bookkeeper to take care of some of his responsibilities.

5. Opportunities

Dalebrun agreed with the DC-office idea of purchasing and distributed 34 2000-gallon plastic tanks to replace damaged and destroyed ones. He believes it will offer us another chance to work with groups such as the Red Cross.

Below are fresh pictures of Dlo Pwop/International Action’s recent work in Haiti:

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