Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti / Water / Sanitation / How to Help / Background Information

A few resources for those of you interested in what happens with respect to drinking water and sanitation in an emergency like Haiti:

Peter Gleick: Water for Haiti, Now

And a list of resources (thank you Dan Campbell at USAID/CDM) for those of you who really want to get into it:

Lantagne, D and Clasen T (2009). Point of Use Water Treatment in Emergency Response<>

WHO Technical Notes for Emergencies

1. Cleaning and disinfecting wells <>
2. Cleaning and disinfecting boreholes <>
3. Cleaning and disinfecting water storage tanks and tankers <>
4. Rehabilitating small-scale piped water distribution systems <>
5. Emergency treatment of drinking water at the point of use <>
6. Rehabilitating water treatment works after an emergency <>
7. Solid waste management in emergencies <>
8. Disposal of dead bodies <>
9. How much water is needed <>
10. Hygiene promotion in emergencies <>
11. Measuring chlorine levels in water supplies <>
12. Delivering safe water by tanker <>
13. Planning for excreta disposal in emergencies <>
14. Technical options for excreta disposal <>
15. Cleaning wells after seawater flooding <>
16. Complete: all 15 notes in one file <>

And a quick Q&A from

Q&A on Response to Haiti Earthquake

Q1. How is water affected during a disaster like this?
A. Underground water and sanitation pipelines and concrete water storage tanks are highly susceptible to damage from earthquakes and will likely need to be repaired or replaced.

Q2. What is the response plan to get people safe water?
A. The short term response typically includes bottled water and the use of high volume purification equipment. While this is expensive, it can be quickly deployed as a short-term solution. There are many relief agencies involved in these types of efforts. The response of organizations like involves the rehabilitation and expansion of sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure.

Q3. What is doing to help?
A. We will provide assistance to our local partners so that they can restore and expand water and sanitation infrastructure.

Q4. How is coordinating with other agencies?
Before the earthquake, was already coordinating with the Clinton Global Initiative, the United Nations, and other agencies. On the ground, will work with local NGO partner organizations, consistent with our approach over the past two decades.

Q5. How has this affected's work in Haiti?
A. It had made the need for safe water and sanitation even more urgent and will likely mean our focus will initially be rehabilitation, and then expansion of water services.

Q6. Is's staff safe?
A. Four of our staff members returned from Haiti on Saturday. We're in touch with our local partner but do not currently know the status of its staff members.

Q7. Where can I get additional information and what can I do to help?
A. If you are interested in supporting efforts to restore and expand water and sanitation services in Haiti, you can donate at: If you would like to donate to immediate relief efforts in Haiti, you’ll find more information at:

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