A local Haitian group is delivering water to 200,000 Haitians each day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington D.C. January 26, 2010 – After the Earthquake two weeks ago, a local Haitian group developed a system in which they are helping to deliver water to Haitians. Haitians are helping Haitians. The Haitian group Dlo Pwop (clean water in creole) is affiliated with International Action. Dlo Pwop/International Action supplies 200,000 Haitians with one gallon of clean water each day.

This local Haitian group located water storage tanks which are undamaged and able to hold at least 1600 gallons each. The local group is now paying local water truckers to fill storage tanks and to deliver drinkable water directly to the population in the poorest parts of Port-au-Prince.

Dlo Pwop/International Action is adding chlorine to each truckload of water. Each truck holds 3000 gallons of water and can make 5 trips a day to many parts of the city.

So far, Dlo Pwop/International Action has been renting 10 trucks each day and plans on renting still more as roads are cleared of earthquake debris.

Since May of 2006 until before the quake, Dlo Pwop/International Action had installed chlorinators on 140 water tanks in Port-au-Prince. From these tanks the group then supplied drinkable water on a daily basis to pre-earthquake 400,000 Haitians.

In the first three days after the quake, Dalebrun Esther, the director of Dlo Pwop, supplied 20,000 gallons of water to the poorest neighborhoods using the group’s small tank truck. Now he devotes his time to recruiting commercial truckers who normally haul water to wealthy neighborhoods where residents pay high sums for water. In this critical time, International Action is funding these high priced truckers to redirect them to poor neighborhoods and the Haitian staff is adding chlorine for safety.

International Action is developing a plan for rebuilding at least 23 water tanks damaged by the quake and for adding water tanks in those neighborhoods currently without water tanks. This effort will reach 2 million residents in a period of 5 years.

More funding and more support from CAMEP – the city’s water agency – and even help from the US military now in Haiti could speed up the schedule. Groups that want to cooperate can reach International Action at info@HaitiWater.org or 202-488-0735. Staff are Lindsay Mattison, Youngmin Chang and Jeffrey Sejour (Jeff speaks Creole). In Haiti, call Dalebrun Esther at (509) 554-5549 and (509) 3712-6918. Chlorinatos are made by Norweco at Norwalk, OH and chlorine tablets are made by Arch Chemicals at Norwalk, CT. Donations can be made through International Action’s website, www.HaitiWater.org.

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Earthquake Update

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti at about 4:53 p.m. this Tuesday, as according to CBS, has left even the Haitian President without a home. President Rene Preval and his wife are reportedly in good condition despite the destruction of the presidential palace. The President of the Haitian Senate, Kelly Bastin was also trapped inside of the parliament. It is estimated that over 100,000 people have died due to this tragedy, and there still remains many unanswered questions due to the lines of communication still being down. Even those whose houses were spared by the earthquake have continued to sleep in the streets, for fear that their houses will collapse on them at night.

Even the UN is also devastated by this earthquake. The UN has provided a lot of assistance to the Haitian government, particularly through peacekeeping operations such as MINUSTAH and other plans for development and economic growth. Due to the earthquake, major setbacks have occurred.

Bill Clinton, who has recognized and supported International Action this past September, is calling for support by all UN agencies to give shelter, food, and water. UNICEF’s Veronique Taveau has even stated that ” (What) people need urgently, more than food, is water.”

Right now we are sharing all of our knowledge and information on the public water system in Port-au-Prince with the military task force and USAID joint team. After such a disaster, one of the priorities is to restore a public water system. Your help in raising funds for this effort is very much appreciated. After assessing the damage done to the public water tanks we put chlorinators on, we will plan a trip to provide a temporary water unit to give clean water.