January 12th...a Day to Remember 
4th anniversary of the tragic Haitian Earthquake
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News from Haiti
January 2014
The Earthquake - a Personal Account  
By Michael Ritter, CEO and Haiti Director
 
[ACTUAL BLOG ENTRIES AND PHOTOS TAKEN BY MICHAEL ON FIRST FEW DAYS]
 
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The cook and I were the only ones in the rectory at the time of the quake. I was on the second floor and didn’t know what was going on when the place started shaking. I sat on the floor until a break in the shaking, at which time I went part of the way down the stairs with laptop in hand, only to be stopped by lots of dust rushing up the stairway and concrete blocks crumbling at the doorway. I returned and looked out the upstairs porch to hear screams from nearby hillsides, indicating that it probably was an earthquake rather than a structural problem or some sort of attack on the building where I was.
 
After deciding it would be better to go through the entryway immediately rather than wait, I escaped unscathed through the crumbling entryway that is picture here.  The cook was in a different section of the building and emerged after me looking something like the other victims you may have seen on the news – black face and hair with white dust all over and a bit of bleeding on her forehead and feet. She was tended by a former health agent and is doing fine.
 
There were about 30 people who live close to the rectory who also deemed their houses unsafe, so they came to sleep on the same space of rock outside the rectory. Each of us had nothing more than a sheet or blanket to pad us from the ground, which consisted of either large rock or large rock covered with small rocks. I know many won’t believe this, but it was a cold night, especially with the breeze.
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Each aftershock sparked a round of hymn singing and praying in which virtually everyone participated. This was inspiring, encouraging, not surprising, and also not at all conducive to sleeping. When Haitians sing and pray, they sing and pray. We didn’t reach a period of sustained silence until about 2am. This lasted until about 5am when most people were ready to arise at their normal time to beat the sun.
 
 
 
 
The Earthquake 
Of the 3 million people affected, 2.3 million were displaced.  
Over 220,000 died.
Over 300,000 injured. 
Photo: AP/BBC  /  Statistical Source:  Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Committed before the quake...Committed after  
Deep Springs' long-term approach to the water crisis
 
Deep Springs started in Haiti in 2006, four years prior to the tragic earthquake that claimed the lives of over 220,000 Haitians on the neighboring island of Hispaniola.   This is because the water crisis in Haiti is a chronic problem - not a short-term problem that was caused by the earthquake.   The Haitian water dilemma is a complex problem involving a number of factors - poverty, water infrastructure, low education, deforestation that affects water supplies, and since 2010 the introduction of cholera which has claimed over 8,500 lives to date.
 
The earthquake was a huge crisis...and it only made a big problem bigger as millions were displaced from their homes, and hundreds of thousands living in tent cities without proper sanitation and access to clean potable water.  Deep Springs was well-positioned to meet the overnight demand for chlorine to treat drinking water due to our established presence in Haiti.
 
Following the cholera outbreak, we provided a local source of Gadyen Dlo chlorine solution to many partner organizations to save lives from deadly water borne diseases.  Some of our partners included:
 
  • UNICEF
  • Partners in Health
  • Save The Children
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Caritas
  • Haitian Ministry of Water (DINEPA)
  • TearFund
 
Make-shift camp where Michael Ritter and the Deep Springs team stayed immediately after the 2010 earthquake.





Together with our partner organizations, we provided
clean water to over 2 million people since 2010

 
 
 
 
 

In Port-au-Prince, people desperate for water after the quake broke into water mains and created community "wells" like this.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: Make a bigger difference  
Drink more water...Give more water!
 

With small monthly installments set up via our automated online system you can make a bigger difference in the lives of Haitian families without feeling a big difference in your wallet.

  • For only $34 a month (just give up a soda a day) you will give clean water to 12 families!
  • For only $68 a month (just give up a coffee a day) you will give clean water to 24 families!
  • For only $102 a month (just give up a latte a day) you will give clean water to 36 families!
So if you think about it...just by you drinking more healthy water, you can provide clean life-saving water for dozens of poor families in Haiti!
 
The Haitian Water Crisis  
Before and After
 
The overall health and water situation in Haiti has improved in many ways since the quake, partly due to the unprecedented level of aid. One of the first priorities in any crisis is water, which became an even more important issue with the cholera outbreak. The devastating effect of cholera, which resulted in over 8,500 deaths and hundreds of thousands infected, significantly raised the general awareness of the danger of waterborne diseases.
 
Look at the progress from the perspective of just these 3 indicators:
 
 


Children who die before 5th birthday
 
2005: 1 out of 9                        
2012: 1 out of 11
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Children under 5 who had diarrhea
within 2 weeks before survey
 
2005: 24%
2012: 21%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rural households who use an appropriate
method of household water treatment
 
2005: 24%                                                    
2012: 76%


Source: Demographic and Health Surveys, 2006 and 2012
Results Are In:  
Deep Springs model is effective in disaster situations
 
According to an article published in Environment Science and Technology which highlighted case studies of Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage Methods in disasters, the Deep Springs model is highly effective.  

They recommend that emergency responders follow a 4-pronged formula that was developed based on successful responses like Deep Springs’ in Haiti:

(1) target households with contaminated water

(2) provide a household method that effectively treats the water

(3) provide this method to a population already familiar with the product/method and willing to use it

(4)  train in proper use and provide the necessary supplies

Header Photo: Photo: CNN/Getty Images
In This Issue
BUCKETS OF LIFE!
 
At just $34, this is a simple and affordable way to help struggling families with water purification systems they need to improve their health.
 
3 years' worth of clean water for an entire family only costs 3 cents a day!
 
Purchase a Bucket of Life NOW and give the gift of clean water.  You can event send a personalized gift card to the family in Haiti!
 
 
NEW Deep Springs Team Gear!
Article Image
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The impact of clean water?
 
Their smiles tell it all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Address postal inquiries to:
Deep Springs International
PO Box 694
Grove City, PA 16127
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