Read more about the results of a study answering these questions in this multi-part series. The first article focuses on how neglect of humanitarian standards and lack of commitment to human rights led to deliberate decisions to cut services that left hundreds of thousands without water and sanitation, thus allowing cholera to spike. In the next article, we will examine NGO personnel’s negative perceptions about residents of the displacement camps, and how these perceptions abetted their decisions to deny services. The final piece takes a step back to look at the political dynamics that have historically left large gaps in water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti, and how these trends continue. Throughout, we highlight grassroots groups that are working towards Haitian-driven alternatives.
Days after a cholera outbreak was announced in October, 2010, local Port-au-Prince organizations Asanblé Vwazen Solino (Solino Neighborhood Assembly) and Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads) scraped together shoe-string budgets, designed a flyer, and plunged into a steam-roller campaign. Says Esaie Jean-Jules, the Information Coordinator with Solino Neighborhood Assembly, “We rented a vehicle, put a sound system on it and printed flyers in Creole explaining how cholera is contracted, and how people can combat the disease by handwashing and treating water. We climbed on top of the truck and used a microphone to tell people these things everywhere we went.”
Rights? “Virtually no mention of it”
“Sphere Standards are not applicable in Haiti”