Haiti - IOM restores damaged water system in Gonaives

News and Press Release
Originally published
The four hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Haiti in late August and early September destroyed nearly one third of the seaport town of Gonaives, including the city's primary water system.

Working with the state water authority, IOM's Programme de Revitalisation et de Promotion de l'Entente et de la Paix (PREPEP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), restored the system and began distributing water to 50,000 residents.

"Clean water is essential for people still reeling from the effects of this disaster. Public health concerns and the potential for increased water-borne diseases are now considerably reduced," said IOM Chief of Mission Vincent Houver.

The 300,000 residents of Gonaives have endured raging flood waters, in some areas up to four metres deep; silt and mud still cover much of the city. The storms and floods killed 400 people and left at least another 60,000 people living in temporary shelters.

The restoration of the Gonaives water system is just one in a series of projects being undertaken by IOM to help Haitians recover from these natural disasters.

IOM, with funding from various international donors, has been providing non-food items to thousands of people affected and living in shelters. These include plastic sheeting for 13,950 families, hygiene kits (25,000), kitchen kits (14,000), jerry cans (25,000), blankets and sheets (27,000) and mosquito nets (30,000).

At the same time, the PREPEP programme, which was halted by the floods, is now gearing up to re-start the public infrastructure rehabilitation projects that have been helping the residents of Gonaives.

The IOM PREPEP programme works with vulnerable communities and the Haitian national and municipal government bodies in an effort to assist with the rehabilitation of key infrastructure and to support the processes of political stabilization, community recovery and development in Haiti. PREPEP activities are carried out throughout the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan Area (Bel Air, Delmas, La Saline and Martissant), Petit Goâve, St. Marc, Cap Ha=BFtien, Les Cayes and Gona=BFves.

Since 2004, IOM has carried out more than 150 projects in Gonaives, which have created more than 20,000 jobs.

IOM has appealed for US$ 13 million as part of the UN Flash Appeal. To date, contributions have been received from the USAID (Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the governments of Greece and Japan, the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund and UNOCHA.

For more information, please contact Frislain Isidor, IOM Haiti, Tel: +509 605 6004, Email: fisidor@iom.int