Haiti Cholera & Cleanup
Health, Social Responsibility Movies, Web Series
With Haiti still under seige from a cholera epidemic, cleaning Port-au-Prince's flood canals is a daunting but life-saving task. The operation requires the daily removal of hundreds of tons of trash and sewage. Keeping the canals open and clear will prevent floods during the rainy season which would bring more death and disease for thousands of displaced Haitians living nearby. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Works set up the canal cleaning project soon after the earthquake. The project is financed with World Bank and other international donor funds.
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
Cleaning Port au Prince’s flood canals is a daunting and life-saving task.
Daunting because it requires the daily removal of hundreds of tons of trash and sewage. Lifesaving because it prevents floods during rainy season which could spell death and disease for thousands of displaced Haitians living nearby.
SOUNDBITE (English) David Tordjman, Canal Cleaning Project Manager, UNOPS:
“Each canal brings down with it debris, regular garbage daily domestic refuse as well as all the fecal matter from the homes. There is no proper sewage system so this is the mechanism that is established to get rid of all the refuse in Haiti.”
With this in mind, Haiti’s Ministry of Public Works set up the canal cleaning project soon after the earthquake. The project is financed with World Bank and other international donor funds.
SOUNDBITE (French) Jacques Gabriel, Minister of Public Works, Haiti:
“We acquired 20 waste trucks and with World Bank funds we were able to contract private companies to share the cleanup task and we shortened the time needed to clean the canals before the rainy season.”
The cleaning project has prevented flooding in Port au Prince. It includes technical assistance to further improve canal maintenance and investigates new ways of preventing flooding in the future.
Thirty-year-old Rosyle Joseph is a civil engineer on the canal cleaning project. The project trained her and other Haitian engineers in updated techniques of accurately monitoring waste removal.
SOUNDBITE (French) Rosyle Joseph, Civil Engineer:
“We control to verify the quantity that is removed each day.”
She and her colleagues have since successfully overseen the removal from the city’s canals of more than 100,000 cubic meters of waste which is taken here to the formally neglected Truitier landfill, on the outskirts of Port au Prince.
With support from international donors, Haiti is slowly organizing the site, to better organize and eventually treat waste.
SOUNDBITE (French) Carl Henry Viélot, Truitier Site Manager:
“We hope for it to someday be a controlled landfill like we see in other countries, where we could produce gas and electricity with it.”
A related World Bank project has prepared a portion of the landfill to receive the tons of rubble remaining from the earthquake.
Collecting the rubble around Port au Prince creates jobs for hundreds’ of Haiti’s unemployed, through cash for work programs funded by World Bank donor partners.
Back at the landfill, the rubble is stored and recycled in this environmentally safe manner. It is being turned into roads at the site, which is making it easier and faster to truck even more rubble and waste in.
Year of Production: 2010
Length: 3 minutes
- Tom Osborne, UNTV
- Muhamed Sacirbey