Port-au-Prince Water System Reconstruction Underway, Partnering with UNICEF and other Orgs
International Action E-Newsletter
June 3, 2010
Almost 5 months after the quake, Port-au-Prince’s public water infrastructure still lies in disarray. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, while diarrhea cases have remained low in the city, limited water supply for affected communities and displaced persons camps has translated into inadequate quantities of water for even basic hygiene. Many camps have already seen a rise in skin diseases.
UNICEF reports that less than 60% of the quake-affected displaced population is receiving safe water—Hundreds of thousands remain without sufficient clean water. A doctor in a clinic in Bois Neuf told me that 40 percent of the patients he treats there are sick from drinking dirty water.
While the situation is indeed dismal, hope for a brighter Haiti remains.
|Local staffs continue to install new chlorinators and fix damaged units|
|Women and children walk long distances for International Action-supplied clean water|
|One of our new 2,000-gallon tanks that will help rebuild the public water station network in Port-au-Prince|
With the approval of DINEPA, the Haitian water agency, this month we will begin rebuilding the public water system—Christian Aid Ministries is helping us ship our first batch of (34) 2,000 gallon water tanks to Haiti. They left for Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. These tanks will be used to replace the 87 public water tanks destroyed or damaged in the quake.
We have also been partnering with the UNICEF Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster to distribute emergency water and hygiene materials to needy communities. UNICEF items that we’ve requisitioned and begun to distribute include adult hygiene kits, soap, tarps, 500 collapsible 10-liter water jugs for families, and (8) 5,000 liter water bladders for 4 schools.
International Action is also teaming with local partners to complete the first comprehensive microbial testing of Port-au-Prince’s two major water sources and the 15 surviving public water tanks, both before and after chlorination.
Through Catholic Relief Services and UPLIFT Haiti, last month we distributed an additional 5,000 albendazole de-worming pills to school-children and adults in La Colline and in villages outside Gros Morne.
I will leave for a team mission to Haiti towards the end of the month to attend a Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network meeting; engage with other NGOs; coordinate water testing; and network with clinics, orphanages, and other groups in and around Port-au-Prince and Léogâne in need of clean water.
Again, our critical work would not be possible without your support. Although Haiti is disappearing from the headlines, the ongoing need is not. We continue to receive requests for help from all over Haiti, but we cannot do it alone.
Program Coordinator, International Action
808 “L” St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
T: (202) 488-0735
F: (202) 488-0736