The Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) and its international partners have handed over management of its water supply projects to DINEPA, the Haitian government’s water authority. The HNRCS, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the American Red Cross, has finalised an agreement with the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation of the Republic of Haiti - Direction Nationale de l’Eau Potable et de l’Assainissement (DINEPA), the Government water and sanitation agency to transition the provision of water supply, back to the authorities.
As part of the multi-million dollar agreement the National Society and partners will provide technical, material and financial support to increase DINEPA’s capacity to provide improved water and sanitation services to the population, mainly within Port-au-Prince.
“The Red Cross has been distributing close to two million litres of safe drinking water every day during the on-going emergency phase in Haiti” said Omar Robinson, water and sanitation coordinator for IFRC. “But to support Haitian economic recovery, it is vital that we transition these services back to the authorities and we are committed to working closely with DINEPA over the upcoming months to help build their capacity.”
Currently, in Port au Prince, Red Cross Red Crescent trucks are providing drinking water to 54 camps reaching about 100,000 people. During an assessment of hundreds of people in these camps and communities, roughly 70 percent said that the free water was a real help but they can manage in the future, while over 90 percent of reservoir operators said the free water distribution poses a major problem for their business.
"The American Red Cross is pleased to help build the capacity of the local water service provider so that it can resume serving the people of Haiti in a sustainable way especially as they transition from makeshift camps back into their pre-disaster neighbourhoods," said Ricardo Caivano, head of the American Red Cross delegation in Haiti.
The Red Cross will provide 15 water trucks and three desludging trucks and will support DINEPA with financial support and training. This will include supporting the building of new neighbourhood water kiosks in areas which are not connected to piped water supplies. The kiosks will be managed by community members according to the contract established with DINEPA under the supervision of the Technical Operations Centre for the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan Region (CTE RMPP).
Robinson continued: “The process of transitioning water services will be a gradual process over the next four to six months and we are working closely with the communities, so they can give feedback and respond to the changes. We are also working on a series of initiatives which will enable us to transition support not just to the authorities, but also to communities, to water committees and to private vendors.”
Led by the HNRCS, the Red Cross Red Crescent has, at the peak of the operation, provided clean water each day to over 300,000 people, distributed close to 2 million litres of safe drinking water daily, and provided sanitation facilities such as latrines for over 400,000 people.
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For more information please contact:
Pericles Jean-Baptiste, Communications Director, Haitian Red Cross Society, email@example.com, Tel.: 3492-3273
Becky Webb, Communications Coordinator, IFRC, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel.: 3491-9813
Sharina Lochard, Communications Manager, DINEPA, email@example.com, Tel.: 3480-1635 / 37022427
The Federation, the national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. For further information on Federation activities, please see our web site: www.ifrc.org
For further information on the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation of the Republic of Haiti (DINEPA), please see web site: www.dinepa.gouv.ht
IFRC (2011): Haiti Earthquake Operations update 27, available at http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/10/MDRHT00827.pdf