The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is leading campaigns in southeastern Haiti to reduce the occurrence of waterborne disease and cholera infection by promoting sanitary toilet conditions and access to clean water.
So far, five localities have been deemed open defecation free thanks to the UN’s Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) campaign as part of the Total Sanitation Campaign, which is reportedly active in 120 communities, and has benefited an estimated 20,000 people.
UNICEF has been working for years in Haiti to make life better for children in the country that has a problem with poverty and health care.
As part of the Total Sanitation Campaign, the Haitian government is supporting the building of toilets, as well as addressed the lack of access to clean water by fixing water systems and chlorinating water to prevent infection.
According to statistics from the UN, only “28 per cent of the Haitian population has access to adequate sanitation and 42 percent does not have adequate access to safe drinking water.”
Last year, UNICEF made Grammy-award winning singer P!nk an ambassador, which included a trip to Haiti to work with the charity organization in helping children with education, nutrition, and other health-related initiatives.
Children are also participating in the CLTS campaign, reaching out to community members to teach them about proper toilet sanitation, as well as hand washing and changing their open defecation habits.
The UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Marc Vincent, told the UN News Centre, “When you talk to people in the communities and see how proud they are of having built themselves their own toilets, and how proud they are of protecting their families and children by their own means – when you see that it gives you hope, hope to go further and beyond. Because what we want and have to do is totally eliminate cholera.”