Aid arriving for Haiti: water and sanitation a priority

January 18, 2010

Relief efforts continued four days after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti resulting in wide-spread destruction and unimaginable loss of life.

Urgent relief supplies are making their way onto the island, however damage sustained at Port-au-Prince's primary port, and congestion at its airport have forced UNICEF and her partners to explore alternate routes to get desperately needed aid to quake victims. One way has been diverting flights into the Dominican Republic" Haiti's neighbor to the east"and then trucking supplies across the border in convoys.

Specially chartered British Airways jet sits on tarmac in Santo Domingo after arriving from UNICEF's Supply Division in Copenhagen. The urgently needed relief supplies will be trucked across the border in convoys.
© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/Alleyne/2010
Specially chartered British Airways jet sits on tarmac in Santo Domingo after arriving from UNICEF's Supply Division in Copenhagen. The urgently needed relief supplies will be trucked across the border in convoys.

One such flight recently landed in the Dominican Republic's capital city, Santo Domingo, carrying UNICEF relief supplies destined for Port-au-Prince. The specially chartered flight arrived from UNICEF's Supply Division in Copenhagen on a British Airways jumbo jet. The UK carrier and UNICEF partner, OXFAM helped facilitate the delivery from Denmark and British Airways flight crew were on hand to assist in the offloading of supplies.

On board were tents and reinforced tarpaulin for the provision of temporary shelter, health and hygiene kits, including obstetric and surgical supplies, as well as GPS receivers to help mitigate the challenges in telecommunication and logistical coordination. As cluster lead for water and sanitation in Haiti, one of UNICEF's priorities is the distribution of family water kits, water purification supplies and other supplies for household-level sanitation.

richard-haiti.jpg
Our colleague Richard Alleyne is blogging from Haiti on UNICEF's disaster relief efforts for children.

Relief efforts continued four days after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti resulting in wide-spread destruction and unimaginable loss of life.

Urgent relief supplies are making their way onto the island, however damage sustained at Port-au-Prince's primary port, and congestion at its airport have forced UNICEF and her partners to explore alternate routes to get desperately needed aid to quake victims. One way has been diverting flights into the Dominican Republic" Haiti's neighbor to the east"and then trucking supplies across the border in convoys.

One such flight recently landed in the Dominican Republic's capital city, Santo Domingo, carrying UNICEF relief supplies destined for Port-au-Prince. The specially chartered flight arrived from UNICEF's Supply Division in Copenhagen on a British Airways jumbo jet. The UK carrier and UNICEF partner, OXFAM helped facilitate the delivery from Denmark and British Airways flight crew were on hand to assist in the offloading of supplies.

On board were tents and reinforced tarpaulin for the provision of temporary shelter, health and hygiene kits, including obstetric and surgical supplies, as well as GPS receivers to help mitigate the challenges in telecommunication and logistical coordination. As cluster lead for water and sanitation in Haiti, one of UNICEF's priorities is the distribution of family water kits, water purification supplies and other supplies for household-level sanitation.

Relief supplies ready to be offloaded.
© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009
Relief supplies ready to be offloaded. To view more images from Haiti visit our Flickr account.

aside from simply delivering these essential supplies, we must also work to promote hygiene by providing soap and issuing messages in French and Creole on preventing and treating diarrhea, cholera and dysentery,