Haiti earthquake: Waterborne disease poses new threat to children

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A crippling earthquake followed by plummeting rains person enactment immoderate 540,000 children successful southwest Haiti astatine hazard of life-threatening waterborne diseases, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned.

“The lives of thousands of earthquake-affected children and families are present astatine risk, conscionable due to the fact that they don’t person entree to harmless water, sanitation and hygiene”, Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative successful Haiti said on Thursday.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake that ripped done the Caribbean land State connected 14 August, was followed days aboriginal by Tropical Depression Grace, which exacerbated the suffering and accrued the devastation.

Threat expanding daily

More than a fractional cardinal children successful southwestern Haiti without entree to shelter, drinking h2o and hygiene facilities are progressively nether menace from acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, cholera and malaria, according to UNICEF.

“Cholera has not been reported successful Haiti since February 2019, yet without urgent and firmer enactment the re-emergence of cholera and different waterborne diseases is simply a existent menace that is expanding by the day”, said Mr. Maes.

UNICEF is calling connected the planetary assemblage to urgently supply further backing for the humanitarian effect and forestall the emergence of waterborne diseases successful Haiti.

Prior to 14 August, lone implicit fractional of the healthcare facilities successful the country’s 3 departments astir shaken by the earthquake had basal entree to h2o services.

In its aftermath, astir 60 per cent of radical successful those 3 departments deficiency harmless water, arsenic thousands whose houses collapsed mislaid entree to sanitation, owed successful portion to the earthquake. 

Stepping up, stepping in

Along with the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and different partners, UNICEF aims to amended entree to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH) for affected families.

The bureau is already providing cleanable h2o to 73,600 radical done six h2o attraction plants, h2o trucks and twenty-two bladder containers. Besides that, much than 35,200 radical person besides been fixed hygiene kits, including household h2o treatments products, h2o storage, handwashing devices and hygiene pads.

UNICEF is the lone UN bureau delivering harmless drinking h2o to the affected colonisation and aims to scope 500,000 radical with WASH support.

And yet, Mr. Maes said, “our efforts to present much harmless drinking h2o don’t lucifer the dire needs successful each the affected areas”.

Untenable situation

Meanwhile, persistent governmental instability, socio-economic situation and rising nutrient insecurity continues to plague the country, rocked by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse successful aboriginal July.

“Impatience and sometimes vexation are mounting successful immoderate Haitian communities, and this is understandable. But obstructing alleviation operations won’t help”, said the UNICEF representative.

“In the past fewer days, respective distributions of indispensable hygiene items had to beryllium temporarily enactment connected clasp arsenic tensions arose connected the ground. Together with fiscal constraints, insecurity is presently slowing down our lifesaving activities”, helium added.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake that ripped done  Haiti was followed days aboriginal    by Tropical Depression Grace, devastating populations successful  the Caribbean Island State.


A 7.2 magnitude earthquake that ripped done Haiti was followed days aboriginal by Tropical Depression Grace, devastating populations successful the Caribbean Island State.

Call for assistance

Against the backdrop of gang-related unit and interior displacement, the COVID-19 pandemic, arsenic good arsenic a Haitian-Dominican migration influx, UNICEF is calling connected section authorities to guarantee harmless conditions for humanitarian organizations to present alleviation assistance to and run successful earthquake-affected communities.

In summation to a $48.8 cardinal entreaty made for 2021, the UN bureau is present requesting a $73.3 cardinal humanitarian entreaty for children, to standard up interventions successful effect to the earthquake and the internally displaced persons.

So far, little than 1 percent of this backing has been received.  

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