Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti

Saving Lives, Changing Lives

Monday, August 2, 2010

Responding to the Deschapelles Floods

Immediately after the floods, volunteers spread out to the most affected households in our region to assist in cleaning and trash removal. By the end of the week, our volunteer community-based workers conducted household visits in these stricken areas to assess other damage from the flooding. They reported on destroyed latrines, contaminated wells, and the loss of animals and property. It was evident that immediate action should be taken to reduce the possible incidence of typhoid, oral-fecal contamination and other water-borne diseases.

The planning team from HAS Integrated Community Services determined that the most important intervention at this time would be to ensure that each household in the most affected areas would have access to a decontaminated well, water filter and a functioning latrine. Each of these involves the construction of the filter, a toilet base and seat, or collar for the well to keep out ground water.

Today, the emergency response team will go to areas where there are clusters of houses with these needs and identify locations where we can set up a small production plant for these items. Because of the weight and the lack of road access, our experience shows that it is easier to set up the fabrication as close as possible to the location where they will be installed.

So far, we have identified 4 priority fabrication sites and we expect that number to increase to 10 sites. Each site will receive 10 latrines at a cost of $3,575 and 10 well covers costing $1,500. We have been assured by World Vision that they will offer food for work support for the people who provide labor at the fabricating sites.

We are fortunate that donors have already made contributions that cover almost all the funds needed for 2 sites. These and other emergency requests that we make are due to extraordinary circumstances and are not covered by our budget. A gift designated for emergency relief will allow us to address this crisis and future ones in a timely and effective manner.

The community is appreciative of the rapid response which HAS has been able to mount in response to this urgent situation, and we are hopeful with your help that the entire program can be funded and implemented by the middle of August.

Ian Rawson, Managing Director