Haiti: A Year Later

Even before the quake, the water and sanitation situation in Haiti was dire. Half of its citizens didn’t have clean water, and only one in five people had access to a toilet. But we are committed to helping Haitians have sustainable access to safe water and the dignity of a toilet.

Jan. 12, 2011

Exactly a year ago, today, the unimaginable happened in Haiti: a huge 7.0 Mw earthquake struck. Only days before this, three of Water.org’s International Programs staff returned from laying the groundwork for our work in Haiti to begin.

Even before the quake, the water and sanitation situation in Haiti was dire. Half of its citizens didn’t have clean water, and only one in five people had access to a toilet.

What progress has Water.org made in a year’s time?

We certified our first local partner, Haiti Outreach, in January 2010. We also began a program to benefit 18,000 people with an integrated water, sanitation, and hygiene program in 60 rural communes of St. Raphael and Pignon. Program progress to date includes:

  • Nine wells have been completed, serving 2,988 people (508 households).
  • Nine communities completed training to maintain their wells. Learn more about this critical component to success.
  • 27 communities have prepared their elected committees to manage their new community well.
  • 623 people received cholera prevention training in nine different trainings from the Haiti Outreach health agent. Sadly, cholera killed several members of a few water management committees in the communities where we work.
  • Trained communities about the dangers of open defecation to encourage the use of toilets and household toilet construction.
  • Helped Haiti Outreach build capacity and scale to reach even more people in need.

Future plans:

  • Begin two new integrated projects that will serve 32,000 people.
  • 51 wells serving 300 people each: most rehabilitating old wells, some drilled new.
  • Pilot the CLTS – Community Led Total Sanitation – method with Haiti Outreach. CLTS has never been used in the country. This method facilitates the community-led identification and resolution of their sanitation problem. CLST has proven to be successful in India, Bangladesh, Honduras, and in several African countries.
  • Certify two new local partners.
Capital city: Port-au-Prince
Population of 9.9 million
3.59 million lack safe water
7.3 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of .35%
80% live in poverty

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