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news | October 25, 2016 | Haiti | Emergency

Ensuring access to safe drinking water: ACTED and Veolia Foundation install Aquaforce 500 water treatment units in the south of Haiti

Les unités Aquaforce 500 mise à disposition par la fondation Veolia.

ACTED teams are currently mobilised in the South and Grand’Anse departments to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance to populations affected by hurricane Matthew. Matthew killed over 900 people and caused very heavy damages to houses, infrastructures and cultures, affecting 100% of the population in the Sud and Grand’Anse departments, 70% of whom are in need of immediate emergency assistance, namely some 840,000 people.

Responding to the crucial need of accessing drinking water

One of the most crucial emergencies in the aftermath of hurricane Matthew is the lack of drinking water. Matthew leaved a trail of devastation – water sources, wells and water stocks in his path have been destroyed. People collect and drink rain water to relieve thirst. But this water is not clean and safe, and thus likely to cause water-borne diseases like cholera. Cholera cases have already been reported so far, and the outbreak of a new cholera epidemics could have dramatic consequences.

ACTED teams brought water purification material to the most affected sites in the south of Haiti in order to ensure access of populations to safe drinking water. Six water purification mobile units (Aquaforce 500) provided by Veolia Foundation from Paris have been installed: three of them in the Sud department (Chardonnières and Port-à-Piment, near Les Coteaux) on the southern coast, allowing thousands of people to access drinking water. Two other units have been installed in Dame-Marie, and an additional one is currently being installed. The Aquaforce 500 units provide from 40 to 50 m3 of drinking water per day. “The six water purification units allow some 12,000 people daily to drink safe water and to avoid the spread of water-borne diseases like cholera”, says Frédéric de Saint Sernin, ACTED Directeur Général Délégué.

Veolia foundation teams trained ACTED staff on how to use the Aquaforce 500 units. ACTED teams now make every effort to provide daily drinking water, essential for survival and to prevent water-borne diseases, cholera in particular.

Meanwhile, the cholera prevention teams work tirelessly to limit the spread of the disease in the region.

 

Some pictures of the Aquaforce 500 units: