We’ve finally caught a break in trying to find help in shipping some supplies over to Haiti. Due to safety concerns stemming from chlorine’s chemical nature, we were having difficulties in finding a carrier to ship 9 pallets of chlorine tablets to run our chlorinators. However, the military has agreed, and the pallets just arrived at a US air force base in South Carolina. The tablets are expected to to transported to Haiti today as scheduled.
120 new chlorinators are on their way to the shipping company we’re using, and 100 water tanks will be mailed to the company by the end of the week. 1,000 lbs of aluminum sulfate is also on its way. (Aluminum sulfate is used to “flocculate” or settle the sediments and particulates in water before it is chlorinated).
Our executive director drove down to West Palms Beach, Florida, this weekend, to deliver a truck that will be shipped to our local staff in Port-au-Prince. (One of our trucks was lost in the quake). The truck was loaded with PVC fittings like elbows and reducers, which are rarely available locally. They will be used to fix damaged chlorinators and flocculation or “de-mudding” units. We also loaded up the truck with 200 mosquito nets and plan to buy more. As previously mentioned in an earlier post, due to crowded conditions, dirty water, and poor drainage, standing pools of water are appearing in many displaced persons camps. With more breeding habitat for mosquitoes, malaria and dengue–potential killers–are spreading fast.
Yesterday, Dalebrun, our Haiti Director, was able to rent 15 private reservoirs in Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince’s largest slum. He also supplied chlorine to 4 public tanks where CAMEP, the local water agency, distributed water. We’re also coordinating with a European NGO that has a strong presence in Port-au-Prince to fix the supporting structures of slighting damaged water stations.
Vitamins were also bought for the staffers and their families. Staff are overworking these days, and under enormous stress. They and their family members are often sick, and although some of their houses are intact, due to shock and trauma, all of them are still sleeping in the streets with the throng of homeless and displaced.