This is a neighborhood water station in Port-au-Prince with the mothers and girls gathered to fill their buckets. Each bucket is 40 pounds of water. Until you and I treated the water with chlorine, this fountain spread cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and chronic diarrhea to the children. But it was the only source for drinking and cooking.
Andrew Weiss, a trustee of International Action, received a certificate of recognition from former President Bill Clinton at the Annual Meeting of Clinton's Global Initiative in New York City on September 25. Weiss was joined onstage with Clinton by six other non-governmental groups including Partners in Health, FONKOZE, and Habitat for Humanity International, all, "who have done some extraordinary work in Haiti."
The first urban chlorination system designed for developing countries is operating in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, announced Andrew Weiss at the Clinton Global initiative meeting in New York City today.
It's a great success. Installed on 150 public water tanks in Haiti’s capital city, the chlorination big city system is supplying 400,000 residents with clean, safe water. This is the first time Haitians have had access to clean water for cooking and drinking.
After spending the first few years installing chlorinators in Port-au-Prince in the West and in the provinces of the Center, International Action has installed its very first chlorinator in the South of the island near Jacmel – a city renowned for its beautiful beaches.
International Action recently installed one LF 1000 chlorinator in Domond; a town located about 15 km away from the city of Mirebalais. This neighborhood was formed under the government of Francois Duvalier. The Péligre dam project for the biggest hydrolelectric factory in the country, led the President to relocate people of the region who lost their land and goods in this small area now called Domond.
International Action just installed two more chlorinators in Cité Soleil! The School Foyer Elohim requested a visit from us in their school last month to evaluate the site and see if we could provide them with one of our water treatment systems.
Cité Gérard is one of the 47 sections of Cité Soleil. Like many of its neighboring communities, the community of Cité Gérard had been in recent years in a state of dramatic violence. Since 2006, the violence has gone down only to be replaced by rampant poverty. In Cité Gérard, insalubrities, famine, low rate of school enrollment, and a very high birth rate all have kept the population in a grave state of misery.
The mission of le Bon Samaritain founded in 1989 by a Canadian named René Marcotte in the city of Montrouis, a coastal town located in the West Department north of Port-au-Prince. Since its creation, the mission has repaired and built many schools in the region, founded an orphanage and recently erected a two story clinic with a lab and pharmacy. The staff immediately decided to use the clinic as a point of clean water distribution for the patients as well as the population. A filtering system was installed but due to technical difficulties the project had to be terminated.
In Haiti, the place to start is water. That is the message of our short film (seven minutes) about the work of International Action in Port-au-Prince.
"It's a heartbreak," comments Sister Michele-Marie about typhoid, hepatitis and chronic diarrhea the children get from dirty water. Sister Michele is a star in the film and a powerful spokeswoman for clean water.
On March 12, 2009, the International Action staff installed two chlorinators on a 9000-gallon concrete tank at the St. Jean Bosco School in the Saline district of Port-au-Prince. It will serve 500 students immediately.
Recently two members of our Washington Staff – Youngmin Chang and Amélie Cardon – visited several of the poorest and most dangerous parts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Their purpose was to see our De-Worming Haiti Campaign in action.
We have begun distributing a pill - Albendazole - to Haitians in the 30 neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, Haiti where we have chlorinators. We have given out 90,000 pills so far and have 400,000 doses yet to distribute.
Mostly, we are using the members of our local water boards - now more than 1000 members - to distribute the pills. The initial feedback is excellent:
In Port-au-Prince, Dalebrun and our team of plumbers go around our circuit of neighborhoods to check the chlorinator installations and supply water boards with chlorine tablets; this month the team also brought with them boxes of de-worming albendazole pills.