Haiti’s Future Looks Bright Three Years After the Earthquake

As some of you may know, in 2010 Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Last Saturday January 12th, 2013 marked the third year anniversary since Haiti was victim to a catastrophic earthquake. We ask that you please take a moment and remember the people who lost their lives and those that were affected by the tragic event.  We have worked hard to make sure that Haitians have clean water, and now, since the earthquake, 900,000 Haitians have access to clean water because of our efforts.

The earthquake killed over 200,000 people, injured over 300,000, and it displaced over 1 million people.  Asides from human loss, the earthquake also damaged thousands of houses, schools, hospitals, and many other public infrastructure. All of these people are still recovering from the devastating effects caused by the earthquake. Many of the Haitians affected  were left without clean water as their personal or community water stations were destroyed.

International Action has been providing clean water to Haiti since 2005. However, our efforts increased significantly since the earthquake destroyed many clean water infrastructures. Our Clean Water Campaign has been very successful and popular in the Haitian community. This program has helped over 900,000 Haitians gain access to clean, safe water through community-led and-based chlorination projects. We have installed and maintained roughly 140 chlorinators throughout Haiti. Neighborhoods consider the chlorinator a blessing. It does such an effective job providing clean water that people take pride of having one in their community.

As a result, we have started a new project, the Chlorine Bank Network, to make our chlorinators sustainable.  The Chlorine Bank Network will provide a community based chlorine distribution network. The idea to build a chlorine distribution system came from the community. They just need some help to get started and organized. With the Chlorine Bank Network we are beginning a project leading towards community empowerment and sustainability.

We are hoping that in the future Haiti will have a sustainable source of clean water, possibly provided by the Chlorine Bank Network.

Death Toll and Effects of Earthquake Still Unknown

As millions of people continue to tune into the news each night for any update on the Haiti disaster, many questions are still unanswered. Already, 5,000 U.S. troops are present within the region, with thousands more are expected to arrive soon. The U.S. took precautionary steps to assure Haitians that presence within the area would not reflect their invasive actions of 1915. Humanitarian relief is coming from all directions and from all different countries. As U.S. troops make their way into the country, signs are seen that read, “Dead bodies inside” and “Welcome the U.S. Marines.” The President of Haiti, René Préval, is reportedly addressing the nation on Wednesday by radio.

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, addresses violence in Port-au-Prince and a need for food, shelter, and sanitary water. Many impromptu businesses have developed since the earthquake, and have begun to increase their prices dramatically. One woman was charging $1 (30 gourdes) for a piece of fried chicken, which is normally half a day’s wages for Haitians.

Former President Bill Clinton arrived in Haiti on Monday to tour the hospitals and witness the destruction for himself. Many procedures have been carried out in the dark and many patients flood the hallways. Soon after, he met with René Préval to discuss the aftershock of the earthquake and possible strategies to get humanitarian relief efforts on track.

During these desperate times, International Action has collaborated with other officials to support this worldwide effort. Arch Chemicals,  a chlorine and biocides manufacturer, has been working with IA to transfer water purification supplies to desperate areas.

Your help and generosity is greatly appreciated. We will continue to post updates and hope to hear from anyone with questions, concerns, or advice.

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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.