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article imageNGO employs Haitians in public health project Special

By Samuel Okocha     Oct 11, 2010 in Health
An NGO, International Action is employing local Haitians in the organization’s rubble clearance project aimed at expanding its water and sanitation operations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, months after the earthquake in January damaged many water stations.
“International Action’s rubble clearance project, slated to begin on October 11, entails employing local Haitians to clear debris surrounding water kiosks and fountains…it is hiring 82 Haitian workers as the starting corps for the project. Essentially, the project will empower locals to simultaneously earn a living wage and protect their communities from unnecessary waterborne illnesses.” A statement by the US based NGO said in an email.
It said the organization’s rubble clearance project was inspired by its continuous commitment to protect the public’s health from preventable waterborne diseases and added it is currently serving more than 370,000 people in 39 locations with safe, potable water.
With the total budget for the month of October at around $19,000, “the organization hopes to secure more equipment, supplies, and funds from generous donors and foundations to expand the project to more critical neighborhoods,” following initial investment in equipments and materials such as wheelbarrows, shovels, and drills.
Post-earthquake shortcomings
According to Wesley Laine of International action, “most of the quake's 1.5 million homeless survivors still live in sprawling tent cities as poor water supply forces many to drink from rainwater flowing from gutters and sewers.’’
“UN Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster Coordinator has warned of the likelihood of the biggest diarrhea outbreak the world has seen in the past 20 years.” he added, describing the shortcomings of the post-earthquake public health crisis.
Clean water and returnees
The NGO underscored the importance of clean water in aiding the return of persons earlier displaced by the January quake that left over 200,000 people dead in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
“The organization’s Director in Haiti believes that there is a direct correlation with the restoration of clean water in affected neighborhoods and the increase in the number of people returning home from displaced persons camps.”
It added that “International Action is an organization that believes that the contemplative must be matched with equal parts of action. As such, it is committed to creating sustainable solutions.”
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