Woman washing hands in river

WASH: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Water is not only a key to life, but to health. Improving access to clean water is a critical way to improve health and safety for all people.

SBHF's water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) activities fall into a number of categories - from ensuring the hospital has a reliable supply of safe, clean water for drinking, washing, and cleaning, to working in the communities to provide water treatment tablets and education to help prevent cholera and other water-born diseases.

Hospital Water: 

St. Boniface Hospital's main source of water has been the Dugue spring, located on the main road into the town of Fond-des-Blancs, nearly three miles from the hospital. In order to keep the hospital's cisterns full a team of workers from the hospital's maintenance crew had to fill tanks on the back of a truck bucket-by-bucket, drive it to the hospital, and unload it inot the cisterns bucket-by-bucket.

In the summer of 2016, our partners at Build Health International, with funding from Food for the Poor and the Kellogg Foundation, installed a direct water line from the Dugue spring to the hospital, allowing us to fill the cisterns directly for the first time ever. We also received a grant to purchase a new, modern water truck so that the system has a more efficient back up for when the direct line can't be run, and to fill secondary cisterns on the hospital's campus.

WASH Trainings:

As part of the housing construction program in Fond-des-Blancs, spearheaded by Food for the Poor, SBHF provides hygiene and sanitation trainings for families who recieve new houses built by FFP.

Community Health and Water Treatment:

Cholera and other water-born diarrheal diseases are all to common in rural communities across Haiti's southern peninsula, which lack water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to ensure a safe supply of water for drinking and washing. SBHF's Community Health team distributes water treatment tablets to people in the many communities with a history of disease outbreaks, and educates them on how to treat water to make it safe, and how to use that treated water to avoid the spread of disease in the future. As a result of these efforts, the cholera spike in our region in late 2015 was brought under control within a few months. Active monitoring for cholera and othe diarrheal diseases, and distribution of water treatment supplies, is ongoing throughout the region where our Community Health Team works.

Workers checking a waterline break

Our Work in Action