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Credits: Mathilde Magnier/Caritas

Credits: Mathilde Magnier/Caritas

As many people are still living in overcrowded camps in and around the capital or in highly precarious conditions elsewhere, access to water and the spread of diseases remain an important concern for Caritas. Together with food aid, this sector has been a priority intervention field.

Until the end of May, Caritas provided access to water, hygiene kits or sanitation structures to roughly 280,000 people. It distributed clean water, water purification tablets and hygiene kits and provided emergency sanitary structures.

In the first three months only, Caritas Haiti and CRS provided 726 WASH stations with latrines, hand washing stations, baths and access to clean drinking water, benefitting almost 170,000 people living in camps.

Around 27,000 hygiene kits containing basic items such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes for a family of five were provided by different Caritas member organisations.

In order to encourage people to apply basic hygiene principles and make proper use of sanitary installations in camps, Caritas engaged the graffiti artist Jerry Rosembert, a local legend in Haiti. Jerry has been covering the walls of Haiti’s relief camps with his works of art.

The message is simple, but essential. Haitian’s awareness on hygiene questions is raised and they are encouraged to wash their hands regularly. The main objective is to prevent infectious diseases and other epidemics that could spread in the camps during the rainy season.

This aid is complementary to Caritas actions in the field of health since preventing infectious diseases not only improves the wellbeing of earthquake survivors, but also relieves pressure on Haiti’s weak health system.