LiveBeyond
Sep 12, 2023 . 10 months ago

Water Crisis in Haiti

 Water Crisis in Haiti

We turn on the faucet and, without a second thought, use water to quench our thirst, boil pasta, or wash the dog. Sometimes we just let it flow down the drain until it’s hot or cold enough for our liking. This scenario is a blessing which, combined with food and shelter, place us among the richest people in the world. It is a blessing many people in Haiti do not have. Why? Because Haiti is facing a water crisis of epic proportions and has been for many years. 

According to worldbank.org, “Access to drinking water supplies and sanitation services in rural areas is not only low but decreasing. In 2020, only 43% of Haiti’s rural population had access to basic drinking water supplies, down from 48% in 2015 and 50% in 1990. This is far less than the 90% average in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, a worrisome trend.” 

Compounding the problems are sanitation issues in rural Haiti, where nearly one-third of the people still practice open defecation due to limited toilet facilities. For those with disabilities, even the few existing toilet facilities are inaccessible. Imagine the bacteria, insects, and diseases! This results is many illnesses, including typhoid, cholera, and chronic diarrhea, which are left untreated because medicine is in short supply and unaffordable to people who cannot even afford food. Perhaps the saddest consequence of all is the high mortality rate for children under five. https://data.unicef.org/country/hti/ 

What Led to the Water Crisis? 

You name it! It’s almost like Haiti is under attack by Mother Nature, but nature isn’t the only problem. There are many reasons for water shortages in Haiti and worldwide. Contributing factors in Haiti’s water crisis include: 

  • Earthquakes
  • Tropical storms
  • Landslides
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Political unrest
  • Violence

 

Storms and earthquakes wreak havoc on water systems because the ensuing floodwaters flow through contaminated areas and spread disease for days or weeks. The violent winds and water surges also destroy wells and water systems. Adding fuel to the fire, roads get washed away, preventing humanitarian aid from reaching people when they need it most. These violent storms are not “flukes,” but instead, a natural part of recurring weather patterns that prevent victims from recovering from one before another hits.  

How does violence create water shortages? The venomous bite of violence poisons almost every aspect of life: education, mental health, food, water, jobs – everything people need for physical, mental, emotional, and financial wellbeing. People are afraid to leave their homes to get water. Companies and nonprofits that deliver water can’t risk their employee’s lives amidst the fighting, gunshots, and gang activity.  

In Haiti, violence has been escalating for years. According to Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti reported the following statistics from January to August of 2021. 

“Intentional homicides increased by 14 per cent, compared with 944 cases in the same period of 2020, and kidnappings continued to rise, compared with 234 for all of 2020. According to the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) gender-based violence is chronically under-reported.” 

How You and LiveBeyond Provide Clean Water

LiveBeyond saw the devastation caused by water shortages, inaccessibility, and contamination. And just as we have done with nutrition, health, and education, we decided to take a stand. After all, it’s all connected. Without clean water, everything else falls apart. LiveBeyond’s mission has been to create a fully sustainable base of operations that thrives through local people and resources, but no one can thrive without clean water. So, we analyzed the need, causes, and potential resources, determined how to best use donations, and made an impact on the catastrophic water situation

Because of YOU, 100% of the people of Thomazeau, Haiti and portions of the surrounding areas receive clean water from 97 pumps installed and managed by LiveBeyond. Purifying 8-10,000 gallons of water per day, these pumps serve 200,000 people who now experience a higher quality of life and far fewer illnesses. Water is stored in tanks, so it is always available. The people who live in areas served by the water purification pumps can use this water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene without fear of dangerous contaminants that lead to illness and even death. Mothers in LiveBeyond’s Maternal Health Program experience healthier pregnancies. Babies are healthier, too!  And children at the LiveBeyond School and Johnny’s Kids not only enjoy better health, but also improved development.  

Thank you for helping us provide clean water!

Because of YOU, clean water is saving lives in Thomazeau. But … there are many more in need:  parents who fear for their children with each drink of water. Expectant mothers who worry about the consequences of contaminated water on their unborn children. Adults who can’t afford to get sick and miss work. The obvious solution is to add more water purification pumps, but each pump costs $5-7,000.       

LiveBeyond and the Haitian people are grateful beyond words for your generous donations that flow into their lives like a crystal river and provide life-giving water. We hope you’ll continue supporting these initiatives that make a monumental positive impact on those in need. 

 

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.” 

Deuteronomy 15:11 

 

 

 

 

 

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