For sustainable access to potable water
A year after the cholera epidemic was declared in Haiti, ACTED still strives to stabilize the sanitation situation in the long term. With the innovative “Antenna Wata” machines, ACTED has been developing chlorination activities in highly affected Bas Artibonite.
Last 17 October was a sad anniversary for Haiti. A year before, rumors were going around the Artibonite département that people were dying of a disease with unknown symptoms. On 21 October, the government declared a cholera epidemic, one hundred years after the disease disappeared from the country. One year later, though the number of cases is decreasing, the toll is heavy, as close to 500,000 cases and nearly 7,000 deaths were recorded. Malfunctioning health and sanitation infrastructure, pour hygiene practices, and lack of access to clean water made up perfect conditions for the disease to spread.
With an acknowledged and long established presence in the Artibonite, ACTED quickly and efficiently responded in the first days of the cholera outbreak. Chlorination solutions, soap and oral rehydration solutions were distributed, and massive awareness campaigns were organized.
ACTED is still assisting people by rehabilitating and building new water access infrastructure, promoting hygiene and training people to water treatment.
Antenna Wata, a low-cost water chlorination solution
Supported by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department and the Emergency Relief Response Fund of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and in consultation with Haitian authorities, ACTED set up 25 Antenna Wata chlorination machines in the towns of Saint Marc, Marchand Dessaline and Grande Saline. The appliance can help provide drinking water to the most vulnerable populations and could become a sustainable community water treatment system for the home. Selling the produced chlorine can even generate income.
The Antenna Wata technology helps to produce chlorine locally by salt water electrolysis, which can then be used for water purification or as a disinfection solution. One Wata machine produces one liter of active concentrated chlorine per hour of electrolysis, and can purify about 24,000 liters of water per day, thus covering the needs in drinking water for 6,000 people.
As a way of making this action sustainable, ACTED set up and trained committees to the use and maintenance of the Antenna Wata, and supported them in their first steps. Through the initiative, communities will be able to provide themselves locally and quickly with chlorine. They will therefore be able to destroy the pathogenic germs, and prevent from spreading not only cholera, but also other waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery.