The Water & Sanitation Crisis
The water and sanitation situation in Haiti is among the most dire in the Western hemisphere. According to the WHO/UNICEF 2012 Joint Monitoring Program report, 85% of urban residents and 51% of rural residents have access to improved water services. Access to an improved sanitation facility is extremely low in both urban (24%) and rural (10%) areas of the country.
Haiti is considered a water-stressed country. Total available water resources per capita are about 1,660 cubic meters (just under the 1,700 threshold). Less than 1% of these resources are in use. Groundwater potential exists in the mountainous areas and in some coastal areas, but accessing this has been a challenge for many communities. Few water treatment facilities are properly functioning for the general public in the country. Soil erosion and deforestation have also contributed to diminished water quality. Moreover, Haiti’s seasonal rainfall patterns provide too much rain for some during segments of the year and too little for others during the dry season.
Current GDP per capita is approximately $1,300. An estimated 80% of people live below the poverty line.