HAITI FACTS

Many of the issues Haiti faces today stem from misuse and abuse of the nations resources. Among the most crucial to address is the supply of clean fresh water within Haiti. The significant health risks related to this issue are near or at crisis level.

  1. Where do most Haitians get their drinking water and why are there so many problems
  • in rural areas of haiti most people get their drinking water from unprotected wells, unprotected springs, and rivers.
  • from places more urban and don’t have a water source nearby they have to use “bottled water, from carts for from drums, and also unprotected wells.
  • the water bottles are in plastic bottles or they are in plastic bags filled with treated water
  • the bottled water is sold from local private companies and is also imported from different countries.
  • the quality of the water and service is very bad in the rural areas the system has been messed up in multiple areas, either the water is not provided by any service or they provide service only close to the source of water
  • and in the urban areas water supply is very irregular and not steady
  • there are 10,000 to 120,000 deaths per year because of cholera
  • people get this disease when they drink contaminated water
  • one in nine children die before the age of 5, 17 percent of them die because of something water related
  • almost all villages have a water system but 50 percent of them are not working
  • it costs three times as much to run the system for 10 years ton it does to make the system
  • Water is a challenge to provide, because of the lack of resources and people build unmethodically and without urban planning.
  • There is also problems with maintaining a network for water supply.
  • There needs to be a way to solve the dilapidated water network and help engineers find a way to improve the system
  • A big problem that arose from unhygienic water is water-borne diseases.
  • Since the Earthquake of 2010, there has been more than 8000 deaths, and more than 650,000 people have been sickened

 

  1. How has this issue changed over time? How long has clean water been an issue in Haiti?
  • Haiti has the lowest access to clean water/sanitation- the 2010 Earthquake highlighted this
  • only 69% of the population has access to clean water
  • only 17% had access to sanitation
  • As far back as 1900 there have been public health reports of Haiti’s close links between lack of clean water and spread of diseases
  • During the United States occupation of Haiti between 1915 and 1934, water supply and sanitation initiatives were among the many infrastructure projects carried out by the U.S. military”
  • 1948 they attempted to start solving the issue
  • Haiti sought loan assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance water supply provision, and by 1962 loans to Haiti helped account for the fact that more than 25% of the IDB total regional lending portfolio in Latin America and the Caribbean was dedicated to water supply and sanitation projects”
  • 1964, the Government of Haiti created the Centrale Autonome Métropolitaine d’Eau Potable (CAMEP), “a semiautonomous public entity responsible for providing water services to the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince.
  • Haiti’s attempt for improvement faced challenges in mid 1970’s
  • sanitation specialist Simon Fass observed regarding the Duvalierist militia during 1974–1976, “They commandeered standpipes serving densely populated neighborhoods under the pretext of restoring order to the general chaos that occurred when water flowed through taps. Naturally, they charged users for the crowd control service they provided.
  • In 1977, the Service National d’Eau Potable (SNEP) was created by the Government of Haiti to provide water supplies to all areas outside of metropolitan Port-au-Prince- however, they mostly focused on the urban centers, not the rural
  • 1986, Haiti was among the top three regional recipients of loans from IDB for water supply and sewerage
  • WASH rural water supply project, the US Agency for International Development in 1985 fund the NGO CARE to set up 40 water supply systems in southern Haiti with the goal of serving 160,000 persons with drinking water
  • change to democracy in Haiti made it harder to supply the region with clean water (2000s)
  • In 1999 a report showed that Haiti’s international assistance rate was considerably down
  • mid-2000s international assistance began to flow again
  • “Reform of the water and sanitation sector was voted unanimously into law by the Haitian parliament and published in March 2009”- intent was to draw interest and bring attention to the need of investments
  • National Directorate for Potable Water and Sanitation led the reform- anticipated that there would be many amazing reforms
  • with the earthquake- WASH shifted from long term improvements to emergency response
  • with the earthquake transfer of water/supplies was increasingly difficult- removal of latrine waste was the most difficult
  • money was an issue- US gave 100 million dollars

 

  1. What are the effects of this issue within Haiti? How have people responded?
  • rapid spread of cholera in 2010 after the earthquake through the water sources (water sources contaminated with human waste)
  • Cholera is a deadly disease triggered by water contaminated with bacteria and human waste. 20% of Cholera cases include diarrheal issues. This loss of bodily fluids is what makes the disease so serious and deadly. By the end of the Cholera epidemic, over 8,000 people had died. It was extremely hard to stop the spread of this disease due to the fact that the community had never been exposed to it before. Hundreds of thousands of people were sick with Cholera during this time. Today, doctors are being trained in case of another outburst. “”That could happen again, particularly in parts of the country where people have not had a lot of cholera,” says Mintz. “They may not have the experience to recognize it. They may not know what to do in terms of treatment. We certainly can’t stop now and declare victory.”” – “Haiti Searches for Clean Water Solutions.” CNN World. Cable News Network, 2014.    Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/23/world/americas/   haitis-deadly-cholera-strike-again>.

 

  • Cholera: disease triggered by water contaminated with bacteria
    • 20% of cases include diarrheal issues
    • Contamination of water with human waste
    • The body’s loss of water is what makes the disease so serious and deadly
  • By the end of the Cholera epidemic, over 8,000 people had died
  • Hard to stop the disease when it had not been exposed to this community before
  • Hundreds of thousands were sick
  • Training doctors in case of another Cholera disruption
  • “”That could happen again, particularly in parts of the country where people have not had a lot of cholera,” says Mintz. “They may not have the experience to recognize it. They may not know what to do in terms of treatment. We certainly can’t stop now and declare victory.”” – “Haiti Searches for Clean Water Solutions.” CNN World. Cable News Network, 2014.    Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/23/world/americas/   haitis-deadly-cholera-strike-again>.
  • One waste water treatment plants was funded and created by Spain near Port-au-Prince
  • The other waste water treatment plant was created by the UN agencies but is not active because no one is funding it
  • These will help with both human waste and cholera
  • The UN General is trying to get people all over the world to donate money and fund for prevention of cholera and other sickness
  • DINPA: National water and sanitation company
  • DINPA has constructed plants to clean river water
  • WASH also formed to help this disturbance
  • “Still, the biggest challenge for Haiti — along with figuring out how to produce more water — will be maintenance of the network, donors say.” – Charles, J. (2013, Jun 30). THE WORLD; haiti begins to tackle water issues; amid a cholera epidemic, officials and foreign donors aim to fix a neglected system. Los Angeles Times Retrieved from <http://search.proquest.com/ docview/1372404251?accountid=4773>
  • Groups from all over have been trying to help prevent illness
  • Increasing chlorination of water supplies
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Tracking down diseases spread
  • Encouraging good hygiene
  • Safe food/water handling
  • Increasing knowledge of sickness at hospitals and other health facilities
  • 200 new cases of cholera per day during dry season
  • 1000 per day during rainy season

 

  1. Have there been any effective solutions to resolve the problem? On what scale? (small/local or large/national)
  • Aid to Haiti has been given Aid by the UN in an effort to supply clean drinking water to Haiti. The method currently used to help provide haiti with water is by using individual plastic water bags (Like water Bottles) to hand out water.
  • On a larger Scale, waterforthenation.org is working on taking plastic waterbags off the street of Haiti and making them into useable goods that can be sold.
  • One out of every 8 children die from water related diseases by the age of 5
  • Charities such as HaitiWater.org attempt to provide clean water to schools so kids can go to school without being ill.

 

  • Haiti has been given aid with their water problem from numerous charities and private groups
  • UN projects have helped Haiti to obtain clean water and cut down on waterborne diseases like Cholera
  • World Bank estimates that $310 million investment in water, sanitation and health is needed to save lives and prevent cholera in high prevalence zones over the next three years
  • Haiti needs more funding to continue to try to get more clean water for people
  • water borne diseases are the leading cause of infant mortality
  • Water problem has improved but about 38 percent of the population still lacks safe water
  • Many different possible water treatment methods that have been used in haiti
  • Passive Solar Disinfection – Cheap; reuse bottles; simple, Water is warm; have to wait for water; turbidity sensitive
  • Plastic Biosand Filters – Effective; once primed provide quick water treatment, Time needed to develop biofilm; skill required to maintain; support needed; turbidity sensitive
  • Concrete Biosand Filters- Effective; once primed provide quick water; can usually be built in country with local materials, Heavy and difficult to transport and move; skill required; turbidity sensitive
  • Chlorine- Very effective when used properly; cheap, Bad taste to water; skill required; potential negative health impacts; doses vary depending on product being used
  • Boiling- Very effective at killing most pathogens, Expensive; contributes to
  • deforestation; have to cool water before drinkingReverse Osmosis- Very effective at removing all pathogens, Very expensive; requires consistent fuel or power; skill required; maintenance required
  • Sawyer Filters- Very effective Easy to use when proper education materials are provided, Expensive; may have to sterilize filters regularly; not well suited for areas with turbid water; backwashing can cause contamination
  • Clay Filters- Cheap and can be made from local materials, Clay quality can affect treatment; skill required; may not be effective for some viruses and bacteria
  • Ultraviolet Disinfection- Very effective; power requirements low (~ 200 watts for 40 gpm), Flow rates low; can be complicated to install; maintenance required for bulbs
  • Slow sand filtration- Can be scaled to larger water sources for schools and communities, Initial costs are high and require materials which may not be available on-site
  • Ozone Disinfection- Does not create harmful byproducts; does not alter taste; no residual chemicals, On-site equipment required is expensive and requires maintenance; ozone is reactive and corrosive

http://waterforthenation.org/haiti/  

http://www.gvsu.edu/haitiwater/sustainable-safe-water-solutions-for-haiti-13.htm

http://www.haitiwater.org

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49035#.VGI-RE8nLcs

  1. How and why have these solutions been limited in their effectiveness?
  • No track of  how much water is being produced so they government and private water companies do not know how much water is being lost.
    • Maybe upwards of around 80% due to leakage or theft
  • there are many isolated villages throughout haiti so distributing water and having water reach these people is sometimes very hard.
  • People do not want to pay the tax for a water company because they will not always have a supply of water.
  • http://search.proquest.com/docview/1372404251/602037C3787C4C97PQ/18?accountid=4773
  • Pumps and piping that are used to move water around Haiti are often destroyed during earthquakes which cause there to be a lack of water.
  • http://thewaterproject.org/water-in-crisis-haiti
  • Compost toilets are one of the solutions that have been tried in Haiti but have not been able to work on the grand scale due to the people who use the toilets inability to get the necessary materials to mix with the compost (High-Carbon organic materials)
  • solar cookers and rocket stoves are also a solution but they are expensive.
  • Rainwater is also another solution that has been used but without the proper tools to clean the water coming off of the dirty metal roofs it is not always effective. This is one of the largest ways of obtaining clean water in Haiti but is not the best way.
  • http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/12/01/finally-a-good-use-for-plastic-bottles/
  • 54% of the population lives on $1 and 78% live on $2
    • Meaning much of the population does not have enough money to buy fresh water
  • “The people of Haiti often resort to gathering water from ‘garbage-filled’ rivers to supply their households with water for their daily needs, including cooking and drinking when water becomes too expensive or there they do not have access to a clean water source”copied
  • The government is corrupt and most money from organizations go directly to the government where the money is distributed unequally. Water falls under the topic of civic advocacy which is a very unsupported group by Haitian government.
  • .” The number of international actors engaged in cholera response efforts has declined from 120 in 2011 to 43 in 2013, while national capacity has not increased by any comparable degree. The reduction of cholera response capacity has translated into a significant gap in treatment coverage. Humanitarian financing and actors are declining faster than the pace of IDP camp closure. There is an urgent need to continue supporting waste treatment in IDP camps until the point of closure to avoid the spread of cholera and other water‐borne diseases in highly populated areas. UNICEF received funding to continue desludging in IDP camps and health structures but more support is needed to ensure continued assistance. The dysfunctional national water system, which already led to a high rate of diarrhoea cases even before the outbreak of cholera    (an average of 2,000 per month of patients above 5 years reported before the outbreak of the cholera epidemic), needs to be improved. Rising institutional death rates reflect the need to improve the number of treatment facilities and the quality of case management across the country, which is severely hampered by insufficient medical staff due to the lack of payment of salaries and incentives. ” copied

 

  1. Propose solutions to address the problem including an action plan. Be as specific as

possible.

  • Plan proposed from United Nations: 2 year support plan to help eliminate Cholera with four pillars to focus on; 1. Epidemiological surveillance 2. Health Promotion 3. Medical Treatment 4. Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation
  • According to the World Bank, evidence shows every dollar invested in water and sanitation, seven dollars are gained in healthcare savings and productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • The United Nations partnered with Haitian agencies to install water filtration systems and provide hygiene training in Cite Soleil
  • 65% of households now have improved access to water, compared to 35.5% 20 years ago
  • Lack of water sanitation and health systems enable cholera, diarrhea, or other waterborne illnesses to persist
  • From October 2010 to the end of June 2014 the Government of Haiti has reported over 700,000 suspected Cholera cases and 8,500 of them have been deaths
  • UN’s response team to the emergency disease of Cholera include  mobile teams that provide rapid health response to every already every 48 hours
  • they have set up 150 cholera treatment facilities, 700 chlorination points across Haiti, distribution of buckets, water tanks, pool testers and water pumps, chlorine, oral rehydration salts, bars of soap, cholera kits and medical supplies, cholera prevention activities in camps housing the displaced
  • The UN and their partners will begin the second phase of vaccination campaign targeting 600,000 people in areas of Cholera persistence
  • One problem consists of the decline of donors engaged in cholera response efforts, translating into a significant gap in quality treatment
  • “Cholera rates are declining and the battle is slowly being won. We must, however, intensify these efforts. And we must focus on the wider quest to ensure access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation,” the Secretary-General said at a church service
  • in Haiti.
  • $32 Million has been collected by several donors
  • Prime Minister has said they need to distribute more portable water, “ Water is life,” said Prime Minister Lamothe. “We have started, but we need more to distribute potable water and to protect our population.”
  • Private Organizations work to provide water treatment centers and/or devices such as; The Lifestraw, Increased well access (water.org), dams and rain collecting systems 9 the water project).
  • Increased funding for these organizations would allow for these organizations to expand their work in area and volume.
  • Cholera Prevention Consortium-(haitiwater.org)
    • A collection of organizations that work to control the cholera outbreak through small tools such as chlorine tablets
  • USAID and the CDC spent $95 million during the emergency phase to curve the outbreak of cholera
    • spread awareness and proper sanitation methods and distributed water purification devices
    • Worked with the Ministry of Health to track the disease and outbreaks
    • drilled and repaired wells
    • trained 264 Portable water technicians to rural communities
    • educated haitians on proper sanitation and water purification
  • Learn from the past efforts to provide a plan for the future
    • need more collaboration rather than a decentralized aid that could contradict others and allow for better tracking of the collective health of Haitian water