By Christine Simek | Development and Communications Specialist
For the past many weeks, Haiti has been experiencing a new period of “peyi lòk,” or “country lockdown.” Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets to protest the political, economic and social instability, and soaring fuel prices. Roadblocks and unrest, combined with ongoing insecurity and armed gangs blocking key transport pathways, have led to severe fuel shortages and a near total communications blackout in many parts of the country.
These challenges have forced many critical institutions in Haiti to suspend operations in recent days including hospitals and at least one major distributor of potable water, due to lack of fuel supplies to maintain operations. SOIL is continuing to navigate these challenges with a robust emergency response plan, an incredibly dedicated team of staff and the steadfast support of our partners and the local community. Our essential EkoLakay sanitation service and waste treatment continues to remain operational, providing critical support to an increasingly vulnerable population.
The SOIL team currently has 63 staff members in Cap Haitien and 2 in Port au Prince. Our Haitian staff are all safe and continue, against all odds, to provide weekly sanitation service to over 2000 households subscribed to the EkoLakay service. We have been operating under emergency protocols for just over 6 weeks; our activities are focused on only essential services to existing customers while ensuring the safety of our staff.
SOIL is deeply concerned about the impact of this crisis on the people of Haiti, particularly those who lack financial resources and who are facing ever increasing food and water insecurity. News of a resurgence of cholera has deepened our commitment to the country we love and we are open to collaborating with all actors concerned. We remain unwavering in our commitment to provide our EkoLakay customers access to our essential sanitation service and we will continue to do whatever it takes to remain a constant for the people of Haiti during this extraordinarily difficult time.
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