A sanitation initiative in southeastern Haiti has shown encouraging results, with a major reduction in the number of water-borne infections for local residents, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Five localities in this region have been declared open defecation free (ODF), which marks progress in the prevention of cholera and other water-borne diseases in the area,” said Marc Vincent, the UNICEF representative in the country.
“In the area of sanitation we have come a long way and there is still a long way to go,” he added. “For UNICEF, we are active in 120 communities and, in total, more than 20,000 people in the country now benefit from living in an ODF environment – this is a substantive change and it inspires hope.”
The five localities – Nan Merlien, Fatima, Rada and three other communities in the country’s southeast – have been taking part in the UN-backed Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) campaign as part of the Total Sanitation Campaign, which supports the Haitian authorities´ national plan against cholera through the promotion of zero open defecation and increased access to water and sanitation facilities in schools and health centres.