Haiti Outreach goes beyond just providing clean, community managed water wells. We conduct sanitation education to move communities toward even greater health and hygienic responsibility.
Today we are in the community Lizo in the communal section Morne-Rouge, in the town of Plaine du Nord, located in the department of Nord, Haiti. It is divided into 4 communal sections. Haiti Outreach made its appearance with a Rotary funded project to drill 15 wells and train volunteer water management committees to bring people drinking water and sanitation education.
In addition to introducing the basics such as washing hands frequently with soap and clean water, the importance of having a latrine is introduced with various possible plans reviewed. We have learned that it is best to encourage community members to build their own latrines rather than pay for the construction of the latrines. That way they “own” the idea of keeping waste in a special location deep enough in the ground, a distance from their homes, and far away from clean water sources like their community well.
We encourage 100% of the households in a community to have a latrine, and we keep “before and after” statistics on how many latrines are added after we conduct the community seminars about sanitation. Our realistic goal is that each community has at least 80% of the households with latrines. We also train 2 members in each community to be the on-going sanitation education “experts” in those communities. Once trained, they are to keep the conversation alive in that community about sanitation education and the need for latrines, so that everyone in that community eventually will have one and people will take on this responsibility of having a cleaner and healthier community.
In Lizo, there are 38 houses with 195 people. There were 8 houses with latrines before our water sanitation agent came to provide needed information and support for the community. Thanks to our sanitation agent, 14 houses have decided to add latrines, bringing the total number to 22. Now, 73% of the households in Lizo have latrines! While we are a little shy of our 80% target, we will continue to move this community forward to have more latrines built, for a healthier Lizo community.