The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Cholera Response Project Underway In Haiti

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is executing a project to improve sanitation infrastructure and to sensitize residents of a Cite Soleil community in Haiti in the practice of safe personal and community hygiene. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project is being undertaken in support of Haiti’s national strategy to combat the cholera outbreak.

The project will improve access to 25 toilet blocks and hand-washing stations for approximately 15,000 residents or 3000 families in the neighbourhood of Brooklyn, a section of Cite Soleil in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Additionally, an effective strategy for promoting proper hygiene practices is being developed as part of the cholera response activities. CARICOM is also providing medical supplies as part of its assistance to the Government of Haiti in combating the cholera epidemic.

The WASH Project is a response to the request by the Government of Haiti for CARICOM’s assistance in the area of sanitation and hygiene, as part of the National Strategy to combat the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti. The area of Cite Soleil was recommended by the designated National Water and Sanitation Agency (DINEPA) for assistance in this regard. The project is being carried out with funding support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) and in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as the implementing agency.

Director of the CARICOM Representation Office in Haiti, Ambassador Earl Huntley, Senior Project Officer, CARICOM Haiti Support Unit, Ms. Lyndell Danzie-Black, CARICOM Public Relations Consultant, Mr. Carlton James, IOM WASH Project Manager, Ms. Nicole Klaesener, and IOM Community Workers, participated in a ceremony on the premises of Radio Boukman, a community-based radio station, 0n 8 December, where details of the project were presented to the community.

A highlight of the presentation was a short video feature of a Cite Soleil community renamed “La Difference” due to its pristine environment, a transformation brought about and sustained by the youth of that community. It is hoped that the CARICOM WASH project, which will also assist in maintaining the cleanliness of the neighbourhood through a plastic bottle recycling project, will contribute to a similar transformation in the Brooklyn community.

The WASH Project is part of CARICOM’s continuing efforts to assist Haiti’s recovery efforts since the earthquake and the cholera outbreak. In addition to earlier and ongoing relief efforts, CARICOM, in collaboration with CARDI, has also provided approximately 40,000 kilos of seeds to the Government of Haiti. The seeds for corn, red and black beans were distributed to farmers in the region of Petit Goave. The Community’s continued assistance includes advocacy on behalf of Haiti, in particular through the good offices of the CARICOM Special Representative, the Most Right Honourable P. J. Patterson, with regard to the reconstruction of Haiti, but also by CARICOM Heads of Government and Foreign Ministers in their interface with external partners.

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