Water and sanitation systems in Haiti are well below international standards. Even before the earthquake, 81% of people lacked access to adequate sanitation and 42% lacked access to safe water. The earthquake compounded problems, further reducing access to water and decreasing water quality through contamination.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) work has been critical to the earthquake response. World Vision first began WASH efforts in Port-au-Prince with bottled water and purification tablets and later installed water tanks in camps, providing potable water for daily washing, cooking and drinking. Families received containers for collecting water from one of 87 water tanks that were installed by World Vision. World Vision has provided 189.6 million litres of chlorinated drinking water to 132,153 people in 40 locations across Port-au-Prince. And more than 720 latrines and 580 showers have been installed in camps.
Before the earthquake, Port-au-Prince had a basic liquid waste disposal system that fed waste into a solid and liquid waste dumpsite on the outskirts of town. The system was severely damaged by the earthquake, with cross-contamination between the liquid waste and water systems. Dangerous health risks led to an urgent need for adequate and separate sanitation and water facilities.
Drainage improvement, mosquito control, solid waste collection and hygiene promotion activities have also been carried out in camps, and work has commenced on the rehabilitation of Port-au-Prince’s water irrigation network. Tools and training support have been provided to repair water leaks throughout the city. As households begin to return to their homes and camps decrease in size, World Vision will look for ways to build and rehabilitate community water points, latrines, showers and water tanks.
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