On Friday, March 21, the third grade science class of Washington DC’s Ludlow-Taylor Elementary, led by their teacher, Ms. Amanda Oberski, set out to walk six blocks from their Capitol Hill school to the offices of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). ACC is a trade association of U.S. chemical producers. The students had been invited to celebrate World Water Day (officially Saturday, March 22) at ACC offices by being treated to a hands-on presentation by International Action.
Zachary Brehmer, Director of Research, and Jeffery Sejour, Director of Finance and Local Training, discuss the growth of urban areas in Haiti and the need to improve the existing infrastructure, particularly where clean water is concerned.
Community leader Billy Osbene told [International Action’s Research Director, Zach Bremer], "Before International Action had set up a chlorinator, people did not trust the water in the community tank that CAMEP had provided – there was no (visible sanitation process) with the water at their tank."
There has been a resurgence of cholera in Haiti, with a health center in Labrousse seeing 80 new cases of water-borne disease in the last month alone, according to Zachary Brehmer, director of research at water and sanitation NGO International Action.
As part of efforts to ensure clean water in the capital, the International Action maintains over 100 readily available chlorinators with each one capable of cleaning water for up to 10,000 people. “The chlorinators we use are energy-free and provide clean water for every 1 out of 6 residents of Port-au-Prince,” Levin-Epstein adds.
The month of May proved to be very successful for the Campaign for Clean Water in Haiti. This past month, International Action installed 21 chlorinators in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne, Carrefour, and other towns. These installations are benefiting approximately 100,000 people.
The cholera epidemic has gripped Haitians in a culture of fear with regard to water. ...Haitians are so afraid of cholera that they are drinking soda or going thirsty due to fear of the cholera bacteria in the water, explained Laine.
But while going to class and completing his major in political science with a minor in French and an Africana studies concentration, [Wesley Laîné] helped organize an unprecedented student-driven response to the crisis in Haiti, ultimately raising almost $20,000. After graduation, Laîné began a job as a project manager with International Action, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that helps to provide clean water in Haiti.