Olivier Mills, International Technical Advisor for Haiti, is currently in Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite working with our WET Centre client, PAIDEH.
Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite is in the middle of the current Cholera outbreak in Haiti. Olivier shared the following information with CAWST on Thursday, October 28:
"I just came back from the local radio station with PAIDEH. We spent 1 hour answering questions from callers all over the region about cholera and prevention. We had to cut the connection because there were too many calls.
Cholera is a new disease for Haiti and a lot of education is needed! There has been a lot of health action, but little education in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) prevention. Our clients PAIDEH, ACTED, and Clean Water for Haiti (CWH) are key in the area of the outbreak (Artibonite).
Erick, from PAIDEH, just came back from the field today, after distributing aquatabs and talking about hygiene to prevent the propagation of the disease in the communities. He told me they only found 1 case of cholera in the areas where they had installed filters, all other areas where affected.
Many communities in the artibonite use river water, which is very turbid and chlorination is less or not effective. The filters have had a real impact. We will be doing some monitoring with ACTED to confirm this.
There has been scepticsm around household water treatment (favouring the traditional piped water) but actors have finally agreed that HWTS is key to prevent propagation and avoid any future outbreaks in the rural areas where shallow wells and river water will mostly likely remain the main drinking water source for the decades to come.
For the past decade, there has been very limited capacity building of local organisations, mosty higher level INGO interventions. Now that we need the local organisations to rapidly expand messaging and outreach, they aren’t available. Luckily, PAIDEH has been able to fill that gap, as much as they can."