Port-Au-Prince, A City The Size Of Chicago With No Sewer System

Chicago and Port-au-Prince are almost equal in sizes, but that is where their similarity ends. Chicago built its own underground sewer system for both waste water and storm water back in the 1856. Port-au-Prince, one of the largest cities of million people, has no sewer system. It is noteworthy to mention that just 4 years ago, the country faced the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history; more than a half-million people have gotten sick and the disease took the lives of more than 8,231 Haitians. The cumulative sewage and garbage of over 3 million people flows through open ditch. Every night, few 'bayakou' workers remove the cesspools that collect deep bogs of human waste from man-sized holes (fifty-cubic-metre) under Haiti's backyard latrines and dumped them into the city canals. During the rain, these wastes spill over the city environment before going to the sea. People living seaside, use over-the-sea hanging toilets and during emergency, they use some sort of plastic bag and throw the dirt out on the streets.

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The U.N. senior coordinator for cholera response in Haiti has estimated that the building of a nationwide water and sanitation infrastructure would cost around $1.6 billion. But Haiti certainly can't afford to undertake such projects, and the international community does not seem very willing to help. A national project is very much needed to tackle the challenges of sewage in Haiti that will protect the public against certain preventable diseases, create many necessary employment and countless new jobs and a decent living condition will contribute towards the development of tourism in the country to give the country the much needed economic boost. The authorities must make clear what they really mean by reconstruction when there is no plan to deal with raw sewage, and there is no access to clean water for the average Haitian.

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