This project is designed to reduce disease and save lives by installing a coordinated system of hygiene instruction and water filters in 16 schools located in Metropolitan PAP, Haiti.
The majority of children in Haiti live in extreme poverty and do not have access to clean water. This places them at particular risk for the consequences of poverty: poor health, diarrheal disease, malnutrition, illiteracy and the marginalization that results from these social inequalities. Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death in children. Worldwide over one million children die each year from this preventable cause. It is also the leading cause of absenteeism in schools and a leading proximate contributory factor to malnutrition.1
Haiti also has the largest cholera epidemic in the world. Started in October 2010, it is the direct result of lack of access to clean water, safe hygiene and sanitation. The already poor infrastructures were disrupted by the earthquake and created an environment whereby the introduction of cholera into the water supply resulted in a rapid cascade of events creating an epidemic. Experts predict another year before case numbers are low and stable and that each year there will be spikes during rainy seasons. Currently 35,000-45,000 cases diagnosed each month; 5 % of the population has been diagnosed. Overall, 500,000 people have been diagnosed with 6,000 deaths.
Pure Water for the World, Inc. (PWW) schools program focuses on ensuring clean and safe water to schoolchildren and providing them with a curriculum that focuses on water and sanitation hygiene consistent with established guidelines. This validated social policy of teaching health and safety in schools and then encouraging students to carry the messages into their homes and neighborhoods is a cornerstone of the extraordinary results that our programs enjoy. Implementation of clean water programs has consistently been shown to decrease diarrheal disease in children by up to 45%.2 The PWW water and education programs in Haiti have demonstrated direct evidence based improvements for over 200,000 children in the areas of increased school attendance, decreased diarrheal disease and improved hygiene behaviors at school and in the home.
1. Clasen, T.; Schmidt, W. P.; Rabie, T.; Roberts, I.; Cairncross, S. Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2007, 334 (7597)
2.Fewtrell, L.; Kaufmann, R. B.; Kay, D.; Enanoria, W.; Haller, L.; Colford, J. M., Jr. Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhoea in less developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect. Dis. 2005, 5 (1), 42–52.
LocationPort au Prince, , Haiti
Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Schools
Secondary Focus: Hygiene Education
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 0
School Children Getting Water: 6,000
People Getting Sanitation: 0
People Getting Other Benefits: 6,032
At the end of this project, 16 schools will receive safe water and hygiene education, 32 teachers and principals will be trained and an estimated 6,000 children will have clean water to drink.
Start Date: 2013-01-07
Completion Date: 2013-02-04
This project is designed to reduce disease and save lives by installing a coordinated system of hygiene instruction and water filters in 16 schools located in Metropolitan PAP, Haiti. Pure Water for the World, Inc (PWW) has worked in this area before and while much has been accomplished, there is much more to be completed. These schools have been selected for implementation of a safe water and hygiene education program. Pure Water will install “Point of Use” biosand filters in each school at a ratio of one filter to seventy five students and will train at least two teachers from each school to implement a water and sanitation hygiene education curriculum in the schools.
The project will achieve the following
1. Ensure that children have access to safe drinking water.
2. Ensure that children receive critical messages about water and sanitation hygiene.
3. A reduction in childhood diarrheal diseases from water borne pathogens
4. Improved attendance at school
5. Dissemination of key hygiene messages in homes and the community
6. Establish a sustainable “Point of Use” water delivery program in 16 schools reaching an estimated 6,000 children.
Water-borne diseases can be substantially stopped, at once, with properly implemented personal hygiene programs and clean water using low-tech, low-cost, low-maintenance technology. According to numerous scientific studies, waterborne diseases can be reduced by over 40% with a properly implemented personal hygiene campaign.3 Similarly, health impact studies show that clean water from bio-sand filters can reduce waterborne diseases by over 40%. 4
The sustainability of a water project is another critical element to its long term success. Factors influencing sustainability include: efficacy in removing pathogens from a variety of water sources, ease of use and quantity of water produced, ongoing costs, reliability of the technology and post implementation continued use. Biosand filter (BSF) technology is used by over 1.5 million people worldwide. The efficacy has been demonstrated in a number of studies, the filters require minimal maintenance, are easy to use and they have no associated ongoing costs. Point of use water treatment has been adopted by the government of Haiti as its long term solution to increase access to potable water. Point of Use water treatment is a priority intervention by both the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
An effective intervention to reduce disease and save lives in Haiti is with the adoption of safe hygiene and access to clean water. The keys to reducing disease and saving lives in developing nations are not technology and money. They are education and behavior change.
Education and behavior change do not happen overnight. The microbe theory of disease and the hygienic practices necessary to avoid disease are new things to be learned, and these are not consistent with the cultural practices in many developing nations. Centuries-old habits are not easily replaced by modern practices. While hygiene and clean water can essentially stamp out common waterborne diseases, immediately, developing the changes in behavior that will consistently produce that result takes time. These are not short-term challenges.
Students will learn the basic hygiene and sanitation practices required to avoid disease, and they will drink clean water. Their behavior can be monitored. The keys -- education and behavior change. Students then become advocates in their homes and communities for improved health practices.
3. Curtis, V. and Cairncross, S. 2003. Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: A systematic review. The Landet Infectious Diseases, Vol. 3, May 2003, pp. 275-281.
4.Sobsey, M. Biosand filter reduces diarrheal disease in Dominican Republic village. Preliminary report released by U. of No. Carolina, School of Public Health, Mar. 19, 2007.
At least two teachers or principals from each school will attend PWW's 2 day hygiene training workshop. These teachers will then be equipped with the hygiene educational materials that they need to pass this training on to their students.
This project will serve students, and in many cases their families, with safe water, hygiene education and the means to improve their lives. With the opportunity to better their health, children will be able to attend school more frequently, and are empowered to improve their lives overall. The gift of one of the most basic human necessities, safe drinking water, will drastically enrich the lives of children and their families; because of this, they will live happier, healthier lives.
Providing teachers and students with the means to improve their hygiene habits will improve their health overall. As mentioned before, it does not happen overnight thus PWW provides them with the tools to continue this education, as well as a sustainable system for safe drinking water.
PWW will monitor filter maintenance, safe water storage and the practicing of proper hygiene habits ( hand washing, etc,). These assessments will take place 3 times over the course of a year at regular intervals.