2-2-10 Update from our Haiti Director Dalebrun Esther

We’ve received critical updates from our Haiti Director Dalebrun Esther yesterday.

1. Satellite Phone

Dalebrun has just received the satellite phone that the IA office sent to Port-au-Prince. We acquired it to improve communication between Haiti and the DC-based office. The phone was tested, both making and receiving calls, with limited success. Dalebrun was able to make a call to one of our volunteers, but was cut off after about 30 seconds. We’re looking into it.

2. Banking

The bank that IA is using is working, and we are now able to send money to Dalebrun for our everyday operating costs, including leasing private reservoirs to provide water to Haitian neighborhoods.

3. Networking

In Petionville, Dalebrun has been attending water, sanitation, and hygiene meetings with DINEPA, the Haiti water agency; UN bodies; and leading humanitarian and disaster response groups. Although very limited steps for actual coordination took place, it was a positive first step for future meetings. Dalebrun was also able to network with a counterpart from a well-known aid group. They laid the groundwork for a possible partnership in distributed water in Port-au-Prince by using IA’s chlorine tablets and the other group’s trucks.

4. Other Constraints and Challenges

Dalebrun was unable to rent any trucks for water delivery last weekend because competing truck demand by the CICR (Red Cross) and DINEPA was so sharp. Dalebrun did distribute water with IA’s truck, equivalent to about one 3,100-gallon load per day. However, the demand is still many times what we are able to supply.

Dalebrun is understandably overworked, and looking for an assistant bookkeeper to take care of some of his responsibilities.

5. Opportunities

Dalebrun agreed with the DC-office idea of purchasing and distributed 34 2000-gallon plastic tanks to replace damaged and destroyed ones. He believes it will offer us another chance to work with groups such as the Red Cross.

Below are fresh pictures of Dlo Pwop/International Action’s recent work in Haiti:

Areas in Haiti are Being Reached

Getting any resources to Haiti in this time of need is still difficult, as most ports, airports, and banks remain closed. We have been able to successfully send money to our Haitian staff using CAM money transfer. We are very grateful to the Dominican Republic Red Cross and INAPA who are coordinating to help us with shipping a truck and water tanks to Haiti. Clinton Global Intiative has also volunteered to help us coordinate shipping and allow resources to get into Haiti as quickly as possible.

So far, our Haitian director Dalebrun has distributed a total amount of 17,310 gallons of water to various neighborhoods in Haiti.
He has reached:
– Cite Soleil
– Bois Neuf
– Cite Militaire
– Cite Ouillot
– Village Solidarite
– Simmond Pele
– Route Nationale
– Mais Gate
– Cite Lumiere (temporary station)
– Tay Alal
– Sahak
– La Couronne (temporary)
Dalebrun has hired 5 more staff to help with the work and security.

Haiti Relief Donation

Update from Haitian Staff

Our Haitian director, Dalebrun Esther, is busy distributing water to as many neighborhoods as possible. Dalebrun says that CAMEP officials would be willing to assist in his effort to distribute water to the population, along with truckers from privatized companies. He knows of two water sources that are working and has identified 28 public water tanks that are in good enough shape to hold water. He has hired additional workers and is tirelessly working to get water to as many people as possible.

International Action continues to work and share information with other agencies, including Southcom, USAID, PAHO, Clinton Foundation, Partners in Health, and the Red Cross. We have sent many agencies GPS coordinates of all the public water stations.

Haiti Relief Donation

357,759 Haitians Get De-worming Treatment

Haitian Director Dalebrun Esther has nearly completed distribution of our first purchase of 400,000 Albendazole pills. The pill de-worms children and adults.

Beginning with 65,000 people in Port-au-Prince reached through our local water boards, Dalebrun built a network of officials in outlying towns in Grand Anse and eight other regions of Haiti to distribute Albendazole.

Our report to the Pan American Health Organization is attached showing each province of Haiti with who was treated.

We reported 110,827 preschoolers – 3 years to 6 – got treated, 90,768 in the 6 to 14 year range, and at 15 years and older 79,410 women and 76,754 men.

We were so impressed by Dalebrun’s success in building a Haiti-wide network that we purchased another 1 million Albendazole tablets at $7500. Nearly every Haitian has worms of several varieties, and a single dose of the de-worming pill removes them for one year.

Worms take calories received by already underfed kids, slowing growth and retarding mental development. With chronic diarrhea from dirty water, the burden of worms affects nearly every Haitian.

In 2010, International Action will continue to offer church, municipal, neighborhood and other groups access to Albendazole tablets for free. A research team from Notre Dame University will be conducting a survey of the impact of Albendazole in Haiti during the same period.

Below is a link to pictures of women and children receiving the pills: