This week Hurricane Tomas hit Haiti at a critical time when Haitians are working to contain the cholera outbreak and continue rebuilding after the January earthquake that drove many into temporary dwellings. The cholera outbreak alone has claimed more than 440 lives and led to the hospitalization of over 6,700 Haitians to date.
The hurricane did not directly hit the earthquake zone, where displaced families would be highly exposed and endangered. However, heavy rains have caused flooding (including a river overwhelming Leogane (pictured)) and may result in mudslides in populated areas and high winds that would damage or destroy makeshift tent shelters. We serve 18,500 families in Leogane.
“Haiti’s children have suffered one disaster on top of another this year,” Trayle Kulshan, UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster Coordinator, said yesterday.
DSI’s production of Gadyen Dlo (our Haitian-made liquid chlorine) has increased in several communities that we serve based on need and demand. In Jolivert, this week we provided 20 times the amount of Gadyen Dlo typically demanded.
We have also been producing large quantities of Gadyen Dlo to provide to partner organizations. For example, MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) is being supplied with 870 gallons of Gadyen Dlo and 500,000 AquaTabs for water treatment in Port-au-Prince. This Gadyen Dlo supply alone will purify over 3,800,000 gallons of water, and the AquaTabs will purify 2,500,000 gallons of water.
This work is in addition to our current activities targeting the cholera impact area, including providing treatment systems and Gadyen Dlo to 353 schools with UNICEF, delivering 90 gallons of Gadyen Dlo to DINEPA (Ministry of Water and Sanitation) to purify over 340,000 gallons of water, and training healthcare workers.
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