International Action Begins Major Infrastructure Restoration

International Action has sent a shipment from Florida via the Monarch Queen, to the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. On board the ship are 100 of our chlorinators alongside with 100 water tanks and 1,000 pounds of aluminum sulfate that are all EPA-approved for drinking and cleaning water. Everybody is working together in this crisis. Tomorrow, an additional shipment will be sent out from Charleston, South Carolina with 9 pallets, or 5 tons, of our chlorine tablets.  It is to arrive to Haiti by a C-130 military cargo aircraft. Arch Chemicals also produced 5 tons of chlorine for us, allowing it to arrive in Charleston just in time for the military plane. Once our supplies arrive to the designated areas, we will share our resources with the International Red Cross.

Infrastructure still remains unstable, perpetuating the  fear that buildings will continue to collapse. After experiencing the second downpour in a week just yesterday, many makeshift camps that arose after the disaster are now washed away in the mud.Our staffers and their families are sleeping beside the more than one million Haitians abandoned and left without shelter.

Just before the earthquake, the Haitian water agency CAMEP provided us with a map of water lines in the city that is color coded by size of pipes.  Afterwards, our Haitian Director, Dalebrun Esther, took the map and added 140 water sites in Port-au-Prince with their geographic coordinates. Dalebrun visited 50 different water sites, noting which ones were destroyed, damaged, or still working. As of now, only 13 sites survived the earthquake. In addition to pipe size and geographic coordinates, we also added the street map of Port-au-Prince, which reveals the rivers, harbor boundaries, streets, and lakes. Together, all of these layers will provide our staff the ability to detect and pinpoint areas that are in the most need and will help dictate how to go about providing clean water. Below is an illustration of the map described:

This map data – so useful in the current crisis – was financed by gifts to International Action. Rarely has a non-governmental group played such a crucial role in a crisis. The map is currently guiding the US military and US AID teams in Haiti today.

In just two months, International Action has spent $200,000 on emergency supplies and staff. In April, we will send trucks to Haiti filled with 2,000 gallon tanks especially designed and equipped for Port-au-Prince. Each tank will provide a neighborhood with a replacement water system and will include six outlets for those Haitians standing in line with buckets at hand.

Dalebrun has built a network of reservoirs in schools and private homes in City Soleil, currently one of the most devastated areas. We agree to pay for water deliveries if the owner agrees to share the water from the reservoirs with his neighbor. We are working with experts from the National Rural Water Association and Haitian engineers, among others. Together, they we will develop a plan for the future water system for Port-au-Prince and later seek approval from Haitian officials. The plans will then be submitted to experts at the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, and US AID, in addition to the United Nations group in Haiti.

We continue to work hard for Haiti and its people. With your help we hope to deliver the clean, safe water that they so desperately need.


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