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Haiti

40% of people in Haiti lack access to safe water
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Haiti is a country that suffers frequent natural disasters. Every year, communities face the risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, floods during torrential rain, prolonged periods of drought, and the risk of earthquakes. Haiti’s extensive deforestation further compounds the situation, making communities far more vulnerable when storms hit.

 Medair has actively been providing relief and recovery in Haiti since 2010.

Where We Help
Sud-Est Department

The Sud-Est Department is one of the largest departments (zones) in Haiti, and is also considered one of the most vulnerable departments due to its location, as it is often affected by the frequent hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Haiti. Medair focuses on three main communes within the Sud-Est Department: Jacmel, Côtes-de-Fer, and Bainet.

Jacmel

Since 2010 Medair has worked in Jacmel, the fourth-largest city in Haiti, as well as the surrounding rural regions such as La Montagne and Bas Cap Rouge.

Côtes-de-Fer

This remote, mountainous region is so difficult to reach that it has largely been neglected. Women and children walk for hours to collect water, often from unprotected sources, and open defecation is widely practiced. In 2012, hurricanes Isaac and Sandy left a trail of deep devastation in these communities, destroying houses, crops, and roads and leaving families vulnerable to future disasters and food scarcity.

Bainet

This remote and mountainous commune neighbours Côtes-de-Fer, and is the site of Medair’s newest project. Here families are also still struggling to recover from Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, which destroyed crops and livelihoods, leaving families vulnerable to food scarcity. In the wake of these disasters, the ongoing drought conditions have further exacerbated the situation, leading to high levels of food insecurity.

Our Projects
Transforming Shelters and Capacity Building image
Transforming Shelters and Capacity Building

Medair continues upgrading emergency transitional shelters it built immediately after the earthquake into safe, permanent homes for families in Jacmel, La Montagne, and Bas Cap Rouge. These high-quality homes are not only disaster-resilient but also culturally appropriate with customisable wall types, gallery placements, and colours. Some of the shelter transformations are owner-led, with Medair providing cash grants, building materials, and technical guidance.

In addition to training local carpenters and masons on disaster-resilient construction techniques, Medair also provides extensive training for local communities on the importance of using these techniques in home repairs and future construction.

The Gift of Water image
The Gift of Water

Women and children spend up to six hours a day walking up and down steep mountains to collect water in rural areas like Côtes-de-Fer, La Montagne, and Bas Cap Rouge. Bringing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions to this region changes lives. Our activities include:

  • Building and repairing household rainwater harvesting tanks using roof water collection systems with gutters and pipes to provide safe water for vulnerable families
  • Building latrines
  • Promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices to prevent diseases
  • Supporting communities to build their own latrines and become open-defecation free
  • Repairing damaged water sources to provide access to clean water

“My life has improved because Medair helped to fix my roof and my cistern. My family and I have a water supply at home for drinking, cooking, and washing. The children have extra time to study instead of collecting water,” says Mimose Lubin, a recipient of a roof and a rainwater harvesting system repair in a rural area of La Montagne.

Food Security image
Food Security

The double storms of 2012 and the ongoing drought conditions destroyed many crops and have led to food scarcity in this region. Medair is implementing a food security project to improve the overall resilience of vulnerable communities and to enable them to fully recover from past disasters, as well as also be better prepared for future disasters. This project includes:

  • Providing cash transfers for extremely food-insecure households who are currently unable to provide sufficient food for their families.
  • Conducting livelihood training activities based on community priorities to increase income and build resilience.  
  • Implementing Disaster Risk Reduction activities including community risk mapping to help communities identify risks and develop ways to address these risks.

  • Haiti: Five Years On 28 January 2015
    Five years after a deadly earthquake and a massive humanitarian response, Haiti is again becoming a largely forgotten crisis. When Medair’s emergency response team first arrived …
  • Some moments are destined to be remembered 15 July 2014
    Thomas Jardim, former Project Manager with Medair’s shelter projects in Haiti, reflects back on his favorite moments from his four years of living in Haiti since the earthquake …
  • Emergency Relief for Stranded Communities in Haiti’s Mountains 05 February 2013
    Donations urgently needed as Medair works to repair damaged roads and restore access to the remote region of Côtes-de-Fer following Tropical Storm Sandy. Just as families in …

Core Activities

  • Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene icon

    Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

    WASH saves lives by stopping the spread of disease. In a crisis, few things are more important than safe water, sanitary latrines, and good hygiene.
  • Shelter and Infrastructure icon

    Shelter and Infrastructure

    Safe shelter is at the very core of human survival and dignity. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, and clinics help communities recover from crisis and build a better future.

Listen to the interview of Rita McIntyre, Project coordinator in Haiti - UCB Radio.

Click here to download the fact sheet for our programme in Haiti.