International Action’s mission is to improve the health of Haitians by preventing the spread of waterborne diseases in Haiti, such as cholera, typhoid and chronic diarrhea. This is accomplished by providing Haitians with permanent access to clean and safe drinking water.
International Action (IA) is a nonprofit, organization with a central office in Washington, D.C. and a local office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. IA, founded by Lindsay Mattison and Youngmin Chang, has focused on helping Haitian communities gain permanent access to clean, safe water since 2005.
Prior to IA’s conception, Lindsay Mattison served as the director of the International Center for 25 years. During his term as director, he visited several countries in Central America, and realized that those countries lacked clean water. After looking for a low cost and efficient solution, Lindsay found the chlorinator. The chlorinator provides safe drinking water, while remaining inexpensive and easy to use. After finding this clean water solution, he began establishing chlorinators in Honduras. Thousands of people in rural Honduras now have clean water. The program has become so successful that a local Honduras-run organization is now installing and maintaining chlorinators without any outside help.
After Lindsay retired from the International Center, he was still eager to bring clean water to the world. To continue his desire to provide clean water to those in need, Lindsay founded International action with Youngmin Chang, who was an intern at the International Center that assisted Lindsay to help the poor. Lindsay and Youngmin soon discovered where International Action was needed when Almami Cyllah, an old friend of Lindsay’s, asked the directors to make Haiti their first priority.
They found that very few Haitians had running water to their homes, and that most Haitians gathered water from community water kiosks by carrying five gallon buckets to and from their homes. The water at these community filling stations was not treated.
International Action’s directors knew that installing chlorinators would be the best solution to help Haitian communities gain permanent access to clean water.
International Action today
The 2010 earthquake had devastated Haiti’s community-based water system, including the chlorinators installed by International Action. The International Action team has been able to replace or repair all chlorinators damaged during the earthquake. Now, due to International Action’s efforts, roughly 900,000 Haitians have permanent access to safe water drinking water.
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