International Action Joins Rubble Clearance Efforts to Protect Public Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Washington, DC – October 9, 2010 – In an effort to keep the spotlight on Haiti's precarious public health sector, International Action has expanded its water and sanitation operations to include a rubble clearance project in the vicinities of water kiosks and fountains in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Noting that the January earthquake damaged many water stations, there is no doubt that removing the mountains of rubble is critical to the reconstruction and restoration of water infrastructure in the impoverished neighborhoods that lack access to clean water. Undoubtedly, the organization's rubble clearance project was inspired by its continuous commitment to protect the public's health from preventable waterborne diseases. It is currently serving more than 370,000 people in 39 locations with safe, potable water.
International Action's rubble clearance project, slated to begin on October 11, entails employing local Haitians to clear debris surrounding water kiosks and fountains. The project will start in the neighborhoods of Delmas 30, Trou-Sable, Delmas 31, Simmon Pelé, and Cité Soleil. The total budget, including salaries and equipment, is roughly $19,185 USD for the month of October. The organization hopes to secure more equipment, supplies, and funds from generous donors and foundations to expand the project to more critical neighborhoods. International Action is making the initial investment in equipments and materials such as wheelbarrows, shovels, and drills. Moreover, it is hiring 82 Haitian workers as the starting corps for the project. It strongly believes that the project will be beneficial to the vulnerable impoverished population because it will create substantial local employment and restore clean water to critical areas of the capital. Essentially, the project will empower locals to simultaneously earn a living wage and protect their communities from unnecessary waterborne illnesses.
Responding to the shortcomings of the post-earthquake public health crisis, International Action's rubble clearance initiative is an innovative step towards restoring the most fundamental basic human need - clean water - in Haiti. Indeed, water infrastructure restoration is of utmost importance. The organization's Director in Haiti believes that there is a direct correlation with the restoration of clean water in affected neighborhoods and the increase in the number of people returning home from displaced persons camps. Clearly, International Action is an organization that believes that the contemplative must be matched with equal parts of action. As such, it is committed to creating sustainable solutions.