Key Statistics1 Prior to the January 2010 Earthquake
Percentage of the population with access to improved drinking water: 53 percent (urban), 52 percent (rural)2
Percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation: 42 percent (urban), 25 percent (rural)3
Percentage of households with water supply: 52 percent (urban), 26 percent (rural)4
No city in Haiti has a functioning sewage system.
Under five mortality as a result of waterborne illness: 16 percent5
The effect of diarrhea on child mortality is exacerbated by limited access to improved drinking water sources, hygiene and sanitation facilities.6
Water and sanitation is a chronically under-funded in Haiti. The situation was exacerbated by the hurricanes of 2008 which led to severe losses of investments, in particular in Gonaives. The needs in rural and urban areas must be considered separately. The government agency DINEPA (Direction Nationale de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement) is coordinating the sector and has developed an action plan for its departmental (provincial) branches and water network operators.
I. Strategy & Priorities
The government leads the coordination of the sector, through the National Water and Sanitation Plan which was put in place in 2008. The plan identifies the following priorities for 2009 - 2011:
Institutional reform (capacity-building and the establishment of departmental offices);
Enhanced management of potable water; and
Increased investments in water networks as well as investments in sanitation.
Strengthening of the government agency responsible for water and sanitation (DINEPA);
Rehabilitation of the water and sanitation network of Port-au-Prince and updating the management plan;
Sanitation pilot-projects in five secondary towns;
Investment in water networks for seven secondary towns;
Installing water supply systems, basic sanitation and water management in rural areas;
Rehabilitation of infrastructures affected by hurricanes in 2008;
Implementation of the National Observatory for water and sanitation;
Ecosystems Restoration Initiative project in Haiti led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In 2008, the United Nations and its partners provided access to potable water to 90,000 people (45,000 children) and sanitation facilities to 10,000 people. Seven gravity water systems and 72 boreholes equipped with hand pumps were rehabilitated and more than 400 households and institutional latrines were built. All water supply systems installed at community levels were accompanied by technical assistance interventions, training of water committees, and hygiene education. Eighty seven water committees were elected by the community and trained through the UNICEF program. Spare parts networks have also been established wherever UNICEF installed hand pumps.
II. Challenges & Issues
Lack of funding:
An additional US$6.5 million is required to recover investments lost due to the 2008 hurricanes in Gonaives. The Government estimates that the sector needs US$238 million to implement reforms. This amount includes all investments in both urban and rural areas, strengthening of the reform and public entities, training and support to water and sanitation management.
The different government bodies and NGOs involved in the water and sanitation sector at all levels must improve their collaboration with DINEPA in order to improve delivery of projects. Even if executed by others agencies, DINEPA should be aware of and review, if feasible, all water & sanitation projects.
Environmental degradation affects the lives of the entire population. Particularly vulnerable are female-headed households, children and the poor who are suffering from a lack of access to potable water, basic sanitation, and sustainable energy sources. With the loss of forests and vegetation, and excessive wood fire exploitation and land cultivation, soils are being exposed to serious erosion from wind and rain. Land productivity is declining, driving people from rural to urban areas in search of food and employment. Throughout the country, poor waste management practices and the lack of modern sanitation and sewage systems are the primary environmental factors affecting human health. Moreover, levels of air pollution in Haitian cities appear to be high. Environmental degradation has a significant impact on the availability of and access to clean drinking water. Lack of access to improved water sources and poor sanitation is a major contributory factor to poor health outcomes, for children in particular.
- Water & Sanitation Sector Plan 2008.
- source and source
- EMMUS IV, p.20
- source, page 12 WHO charts
- source: “Diarrhea, the leading cause of death among children ages one-to-11 months and the second leading cause of death among children ages 12-59 months, is responsible for 41 percent of all deaths in Haitian rural areas, compared to 32 percent in urban areas.”
- source, p.86
- The main NGOs working in the sector are grouped in a platform (PEPA: Plateforme Eau Potable & Assainissement). source