Clean water: Essential in Haiti and around the world

Monday, March 22, is World Water Day a day to commemorate the importance of water throughout the world. The theme for World Water Day 2010 is "Clean Water for a Healthy World," a reminder that 1.1 billion people in the world still rely on unsafe sources of drinking water.

Loading water onto truck
Trucks from partner Viva Rio load up water and deliver it to residents of the Kay Nou tent encampment in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  As part of CWS-supported efforts, five water trucks transport about 47,500 gallons of water per day, providing clean drinking water to thousands of people who were displaced by the January 12 earthquake.
Photo: Jonathan Ernst/LWR/ACT Alliance

Port-au-Prince, Haiti -- Monday, March 22, is World Water Day – a day to commemorate the importance of water throughout the world. The theme for World Water Day 2010 is "Clean Water for a Healthy World," a reminder that 1.1 billion people in the world still rely on unsafe sources of drinking water.

In Haiti, CWS-supported efforts are providing clean water to survivors of the devastating January 12 earthquake.

CWS-supported efforts include the work of fellow ACT Alliance member Norwegian Church Aid, working in the Belair section of Port-au-Prince. There, water truck drivers Pierrette Joseph Wesner and Saint Philippe Kesly start their day before the sun comes up.

The two drivers make up to seven runs a day, filling their tank at a water point that pumps in well water, and then delivering it to camps throughout the city.  Partner organization Viva Rio manages five water trucks that transport approximately 180,000 liters (about 47,500 gallons) of water per day, providing clean drinking water to thousands of people who were displaced by the earthquake.

"People need the water so much,” says Kesly. “Sometimes we don’t even get to fill the bladder, people just come and get water right from the truck.”
 
The delivery made, the two men get back in the truck and return to the water station to do it all over again. They will work until the sun goes down.  They haven’t had a day off since the earthquake – but they don’t mind.

“It feels good to do this work, because Viva Rio provides a good service,” Kesly said of CWS-supported efforts. “We have jobs, we get paid, and we’re helping people."

How to help

Through Church World Service, you can empower communities to access clean, safe water for drinking and domestic use, and educate communities for improved health, hygiene and sanitation.  Contributions may be made online, by phone (800-297-1516), or by mail: Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, an international coalition of churches and related organizations responding to emergencies, collaborating in development work, and providing a shared voice for advocacy.

More stories, video and other resources on the CWS response in Haiti>>

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


Share/Save/Bookmark

Browse news release archive

 

All active news articles