Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Nov 22, 2010
The pump installed in Haiti's largest slum of Cite Soleil spews out clear but unprocessed water -- residents must add chlorine themselves to ward off cholera.
The problem is such chemicals are expensive, so most of the estimated 300,000 inhabitants of this desperately poor shanty town on the northern rim of the capital take a deadly risk every time they need a drink.
"When I have money, I buy packets of (chlorine)," mother-of-six Fifi Saint-Luce told AFP next to the pump on Monday morning. "Sometimes I cannot (afford it), so you drink the water as it is."
The epidemic has killed some 1,350 people. The toll is rising steadily and in this neighborhood -- its streets filled with garbage and pools of polluted water -- over 200 cases are admitted each day to the area hospital.
Haitian authorities hand out pamphlets written in creole with crude drawings explaining how to protect yourself against the water-borne Vibrio cholerae bacterium.
The instructions highlight the main defenses: washing your hands, diluting each liter of water with a drop of chlorine, and keeping human waste in deeply-dug latrines.
This new emphasis on sanitation has boosted the income of soap-seller Fanis Joseph.
"I sell more since the cholera," she told AFP, carrying around bags of soap and chlorine on her head. The chlorine sachets, enough to purify five liters of water, are sold for five gourdes (more than 10 cents) each.
Eying the soap-seller was Daniel Rosemont, father of two-year-old Davidson.
Asked whether he will buy the potentially life-saving chemicals, Rosemont gestured at the empty pockets of his grubby jeans.
"I have no money," he said, as his son drank the unsafe water.
"I am very scared for him. Also, I can't buy soap," he said.
The line at the pump was tense, and arguments broke out in the rush for water. Voices rose as one woman shouted at a man in the queue. Suddenly, she threw a glass bottle that shattered. The man pulled out a knife before the pair were separated by members of the crowd.
Nearby at Saint Catherine's Hospital, which is run by the leading medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF), people arrived constantly for treatment.
A United Nations truck was parked near the entrance, with soldiers on hand pointing their guns at residents in this infamously violent neighborhood.
Inside the dank facility, patients lay on wooden cots with holes cut in the center for human waste.
"Cholera arrived two-and-a-half weeks ago in Port-au-Prince. At the start the number of cases was doubling each day. Since last week it has stabilized," MSF's Isabelle Janson told AFP
"Cite Soleil is a hotbed for the cholera in Haiti," said Renato Souza, one of the nurses. "We need to treat victims very quickly," he said, adding that without proper care victims can die from the disease in less than 24 hours.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Panama Canal said at earthquake risk
San Diego (UPI) Nov 18, 2010
The risk of earthquakes around the Panama Canal is greater than previously believed, a seismological survey of faults around the canal indicated. Researchers from San Diego State University say two known faults adjacent to the canal are much more active than previously thought, the BBC reported Thursday. They estimate that faults generate temblors every 300 to 900 years. T ... read more
Gates backs crisis cells to aid Latin America in disasters|
US Socially Responsible Investing Thrives In Recession
Chinese worker saved after 80 hours in underwater pipe
Italian quake victims denounce reconstruction pace
Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems
News Corp. set to unveil iPad newspaper, 'The Daily'
FASTRAC Team Ready To Enjoy Launch
Amazon lets gift-givers send Kindle books by email
More than a million Atlantic sharks killed yearly: study
Busy Microbial World Discovered In Deepest Ocean Crust Ever Explored
Fall Bonefish Census Sounds Warning Bell That Warrants Careful Future Monitoring
Indonesia declares protected zone to save coral reefs
Operation IceBridge Completes Another Successful Antarctic Campaign
Delayed ice threatening Canada polar bears
As Arctic Temperatures Rise, Tundra Fires Increase
Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate
China milk campaigner 'forced to sack lawyers': rights group
Gene Find Could Lead To Healthier Food And Better Biofuel
Melamine-tainted drinks emerge again in China: report
New Disease-Resistant Food Crops In Prospect
Safe water out of reach for poor Haitians
Indonesia volcano death toll passes 300
Villagers flee as Philippine volcano shoots ash
Danger zone reduced as Indonesian eruption weakens
I. Coast army deploys in north ahead of election
Madagascan army crushes three-day mutiny
China, Angola sign agreements as vice-president Xi visits
Swazi life expectancy halved by AIDS, TB: health charity
Study Reveals Neural Basis Of Rapid Brain Adaptation
Human Children Outpaced Neanderthals By Slowing Down
Paraguay nixes British expedition to remote tribal region
Origin Of Cells Associated With Nerve Repair Discovered
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|