Haiti's Water Challenges
Water availability in Haiti is complicated by where you live. Urban versus rural access differs widely. Only 65% of Haitians have access to safe drinking water. This year the first heavy rains of the wet season have recently flooded parts of the Haitian capital leaving at least six dead and damaging 8000 homes.
In contrast, the water supply in Mirebalais is depleted. It is dependent on poorly functioning generators located in nearby Cange. The city of Mirebalais is currently providing the community with bottled water, transported by trucks.
Cholera, which began just outside Mirebalais in the Artibonite River, is higher in 2015 than during the same period in 2012 and 2014. During the first two months, 7,225 Haitians were sick and 86 died from cholera.
Haiti Micah Project is responding to the water challenges in two principal ways. In 2011, we built a water treatment facility and potable water has been available to over 1000 students at St. Pierre school and to the children coming to our feeding program.
Haiti has two rainy seasons, from April to June and then again from September through November causing Haiti to have 560 times the amount of water needed for its total domestic needs.
In recognition that rainfall is such an underutilized and renewable resource, the engineer and builders at the HMP vocational training center have now designed a system that utilizes a cistern to take advantage of the rainfall and the multiple ways that this resource can be used.
This article references: “Cholera will plague Haiti until water, sanitation crisis solved: experts”, March 27, 2015 Thomas Reuters Foundation.
Haiti Now (book) The Now Institute, UCLA, 2014.