Newsletter, October 12, 2010
Two weeks ago, a powerful storm plowed through Haiti, destroying thousands of tents and battering camp clinics, schools, and childcare facilities. The vast majority of the 1.3 million homeless in Port-au-Prince have little more than flimsy tarps protecting them from the onslaught of additional seasonal hurricanes. Countless “bladders”—large plastic bags continuously filled by trucks for water distribution in displaced persons camps—were also badly damaged.
The lack of proper shelter and continued reliance on easily disrupted supplies and services reflect the enduring precariousness of life in the camps. To address this concern, International Action continues to rehabilitate quake-destroyed public water kiosks in neighborhoods throughout the capital. The provision of water and other vital services is the critical first step to encouraging survivors to return home from camps and to bringing normalcy back to their lives.
In many of our operational neighborhood sites, like Baillergeau, where we just installed 4 chlorinators on our partner GRET’s newly constructed public water tanks, upwards of 70 percent of the pre-quake population have returned to their homes. At Baillergeau, 25,000 Haitians—a large portion of them recent returnees—are now receiving safe, clean water.
“I’ve stressed this fact repeatedly at UN meetings,” states our Haiti Director Dalebrun Esther. “There is a direct correlation with the restoration of clean water in affected neighborhoods and the increase in the number of people returning home from displaced persons camps.”
Our Haitian staff also installed new chlorinators in the First Section of Cité Gérard (5,000 people) and in Cité Soleil/ Bois Neuf (6,500). We are now in discussions with CAMEP, the local water agency, to install one of our 2,000-gallon tanks in Cité Soleil in the near future—if implemented well, we will install several more in the area, well known as home to some of Port-au-Prince’s poorest and most-underserved residents.
CAMEP has also restored piped water delivery to Delmas 30, where our chlorinator, retrofitted with new valves and a fresh load of chlorine tablets, is disinfecting water for 15,000 Haitians.
Trou-Sable, Delmas 31, and Simmond-Pelé are the next public water station sites designated by our staff for repair and rehabilitation.
With your help, we are now reaching 421,500 Haitians with clean water at 46 locations throughout the country.
And we’re not stopping.
We’re aggressively seeking collaborative partnerships with Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network members and meeting with groups such as the UN WASH Cluster, BRAC, Digicel, Action Contre la Faim, and USAID, among others. We are brainstorming with strategic partners like Deep Springs International to scale up and bring clean water to more Haitians in need. With the help of Christian Aid Ministries, our second shipment of 2,000-gallon tanks and pipe fittings just left for Haiti.
As always, we continue to offer chlorinators, initial chlorine tablets, and deworming pills at no cost to any organization in need of them. If you know of any neighborhood, school, orphanage, church, hospital, or group in need of any of these, please let us know. Help us spread the word.
We’re saving lives, eliminating waterborne diseases, and greatly improving the health and wellness of whole communities.
The International Action Team
T: (202) 488-0735
F: (202) 488-0736