Project #6628

Combat Haiti's Spreading Cholera Crisis

by International Action
Clean water infrastructure at Ecole La Dignite
Clean water infrastructure at Ecole La Dignite

In collaboration with fellow Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network member Architecture for Humanity, International Action has installed the first clean water system for the Southeast water project at École La Dignité, a primary school in the town of Cayes-Jacmel. École La Dignité, headed by Mrs. Vivianne Vieux, is the only free private school in Jacmel. The school supports 8 localities, some of which are 3 km away from the school, including Corrail Soult, Nan Model and La Pierre. The school currently has 227 students from grades 1-6, but will now open its doors to students in grades 7 and 8.

International Action has installed a 2,000-gallon water tank and chlorinator at the school. According to Mrs. Vieux, the new clean water infrastructure means that her students will no longer go thirsty or have to worry about waterborne illnesses. Mrs. Vieux is also very happy that her students will no longer have to climb the steep hill home with buckets of water on their heads, because they now have clean water in their neighborhood.  

After the school day is done, Ecole La Dignite serves as a community center for local fishing communities, art programs, and church groups. All of these people will have access to the clean water provided by International Action’s water system. 

International Action’s Southeast water project aims to install clean water infrastructure in 50 schools in the region. École La Dignité is the first beneficiary. That’s one down, and 49 more to go. 

Ecole La Dignite - by AfH
Ecole La Dignite - by AfH
School Installation
School Installation


Dear friends,

According to news report that came out this morning, Haitian health authorities are saying that the number of deaths caused by cholera increased to 6,435 in Haiti since October 2010.

The Haitian Health Ministry said the number of people infected with cholera almost reached half a million, although the ministry repeated the epidemic was decreasing. The report said 455,727 people had been treated due to cholera, and 242,205 had to be hospitalized.

It’s not easy to read those statistics, especially for my colleagues and me at International Action. But we know that improvement in access to clean water saves lives. Sadly, clean water remains a luxury in Haiti; making our work all the more important and urgent.

You should know that we’ve been busy.

Last month, we installed chlorinators in 16 schools and 5 new communities.

The following Communities and more have clean water–

  • Fontaine I | GPS : 18 32.232’ N ; 72 21.552’ Wo | 15,000 people
  • Fontaine II | GPS : 18 32.088’ N ;  72 21.561’ Wo. | 7,500 people   
  • Fontaine III | GPS : 18 32.101’ N ; 72 21.547’ Wo. | 10,000 people
  • Fontaine IV | GPS :18 32.049’ N ; 72 21.476’ Wo. | 8,500 people 
  • Fontaine V | GPS : 18 32.063’ N ; 72 21.432’ Wo | 14,000 people 

The school installations were completed in Pétion-Ville, Delmas, Croix-des-Bouquets, Petit-Goâve, Thomazeu, and Aquin.

The results of our work are outstanding. According to a recent survey conducted by two Emory University graduates, 82 percent of households in chlorinator zones have a positive chlorine residual greater or equal to the World Health Organization standards; 90 percent of households in the neighborhoods where we serve get their water from our chlorinator; 91 percent of our beneficiaries believe that the water treated by our chlorinators is safe to drink.

In other words, the water source is protected by our chlorinators. We are protecting lives.

We would not be able to do it without you. Because of your support, we’ve been able to revolutionize water quality intervention in Haiti. With your donations, we can continue to provide clean water for the most impoverished men, women, and children in Haiti. Thank you for believing in us and our work in Haiti.


The International Action Team

The whole community participates!
The whole community participates!
Cholera prevention training, chlorine distribution
Cholera prevention training, chlorine distribution

In the Port-au-Prince, Haiti there is a large displaced persons camp called Martissant 2A. It has developed into a sprawling shantytown of 35,000 people, so desperately under served that local residents refer to it as the “lawless zone.” DINEPA, the Haitian government’s water agency, undertook an ambitious project this July to build five water stations throughout the area, joined by the International Organization for Migration and The International Red Cross. International Action accompanied the team to install chlorinators on the new governments water stations. Our systems will insure that the water provided to these 35,000 disadvantaged people will remain safe to drink.

Report, July 22, 2011

Eric Harshfield and Shivani Jain, two graduate students from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, are providing a six-week evaluation of International Action's flagship program – Clean Water in Haiti for Communities. This is our community based chlorinator and water storage tank program. The primary custodians of this project are the community leaders and members, who have an invaluable role in every step of the process.

The Emory graduates have been in the capital city since the beginning of July. Their goal is three-fold: (1), to measure how many residents and communities we provide safe water to, understand the impact of our project by conducting door-to-door interviews, and to monitor the state of our equipment; (2) to develop a monitoring framework so we may evaluate our program throughout the year; and (3), to establish a network of employees to carry out future program evaluations. Eric and Shivani have hired five Haitian university students to survey the public. They will be supervised by local water board members. 150 surveys have been completed and the first community focus group will be held on July 21. These focus groups will allow the community's voice to be heard, expressing their needs and sharing their ideas.

We have created a consortium of churches, missions and NGOs throughout Haiti to combat the most recent surge of cholera.  A health center outside of Labrousse has received 80 cases of cholera in the past month alone. 

 There are organizations seeking to help in every corner of Haiti.  Our group has enough granular chlorine to disinfect water for every Haitian for six-nine months.   We are donating our chlorine to these groups to help as many people as possible.  We will also use this network to coordinate a response to future emergencies and initiatives.

 The process is simple.  We reach out to groups working in Haiti.  They respond back and pickup the chlorine at our warehouse in Port-au-Prince.   Already, organizations have agreed to pickup chlorine to provide disinfected water for over 385,250 Haitians.  Many more groups are in the process of submitting their chlorine request form.  Join our consortium, protect the families of Haiti.

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Organization Information

International Action

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Project Leader:
Zach Brehmer
Washington, DC United States