Vital Signs in Haiti

April 18, 2014
Jeffery Sejour, Associate Director, being interviewed on CNN

Jeffery Sejour, Associate Director, being interviewed on CNN

Last month, International Action Director, Jeffery Sejour, had a very successful trip to visit our operations in Haiti.  Not only was he able to oversee a brand new clean water project but was also able to contribute to a very special CNN report on the continuous clean water and cholera crisis in Haiti.

During his trip, Jeffery, took CNN reports to Fabias, a small rural community of St. Marc in the Artibonite region.  International Action came to Fabias at the request of the Saint Ann parish in Hagerstown, Maryland, to bring more accessible, clean water to their sister parish in Haiti and the surrounding communities.  Before partnering with International Action, Fabias got all of its water from a single hand pump and a murky stream that would fall and rise with the rain.             

For this first trip, Jeffery and the Haiti staff surveyed the site, a crucial first step for bringing water to the community. Next, we will install a cement base and install the chlorinator that will use the preexisting well to treat the water so that the community has constant access to safe drinking water. This is one of the three chlorinators that we will install in Fabias; one at the local school, one near the local parish, and the third near a dispensary. Once completed, these sites will give over 7000 people access to clean water, helping to prevent dangerous waterborne illnesses from spreading in the community and greatly cut down on the amount of time women and children spend carrying water each day.

Just one of the people we will help with this new project is 16-year-old Vidjinia. Vidjinia spends two hours per day carrying water from the stream. Once she brings the water home, her family has to ensure that they add the proper amount of chlorine to the water to make sure that the water is potable. The installation of these chlorinators will mean that Vidjinia can spend less time carrying water and more time studying. Furthermore, it will also mean that her family doesn’t have to worry about using the proper amount of chlorine to treat the water at home.

To learn more about how this new project will improve the lives of Vidjinia, her family, and those of her community and to learn more about the efforts of International Action in Haiti, check out the videos from Vital Signs with Sanjay Gupta on CNN  or click here.