One million Haitians are still living in tents! The task is immense. Grant allocation and the coordination of hundreds of NGOs are highly complex. The cholera crisis hit the country and for months, the election period has stifled all action. The country needs fully legitimate leaders to take up such challenges.
In such a context, why is access to drinking water a priority?
Dr. Jean William Pape, one of Haiti’s “Living Treasures”, known worldwide for his studies on AIDS and the fight against diarrheal diseases, states that water and sanitation had already been a public health priority for the country.
The earthquake and cholera crisis dramatically vindicated him.
What are the results of the first phase of your project?
The Pandiassou treatment plant we installed in partnership with the Little Brothers of the Incarnation of Franklin Armand, another Haitian “living treasure”, is the first plant in Haiti capable of purifying lake water. It can provide 50 m3 of clean water daily and has been operating since its installation in July 2010. The real success comes however from its operation, which is overseen entirely by a young Haitian engineer we had trained. We have demonstrated that it is possible. We also developed an original model for treatment plants that can be independently installed in Haiti, and for which we have trained Slim Robert, another young Haitian.
What are the project’s next steps and for how many beneficiaries?
With Franklin Armand, we first want to double our efforts. The first two “Haitian” stations will be assembled on site before July. One will probably be installed in one of Dr. Pape’s centers and the other for the Brotherhood of the Incarnation. We then want to build an assembly shop in Haiti where 50 units will be assembled annually by a team of Haitian technicians. Each unit can produce 20 m3 of potable water per day, which supplies over 5000 people, without the need for foreign assistance. We are seeking funds to make this possible.
* At the donor conference on March 31, 2010, the 55 representatives of governments and multilateral institutions pledged for the period 2010-2011, a sum of 5.57 billion dollars , including 1.07 billion of external debt reduction.
Preparing the 6th World Water Forum
The Fondation Chirac, member of the World Water Council, is preparing the 6th World Water Forum to be held in Marseilles from March 12 to 17, 2012.
In 2011, the Fondation will act mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Millennium Development Goals are the farthest from being achieved. The Sahel is home to the poorest people in Africa due to drought and climate imbalances that have occurred over the past 50 years. 337 million people in the region lack access to safe drinking water, mostly in rural areas. So that the right to water, recognized by the United Nations in 2010, can become a concrete reality, the Fondation Chirac wants:
- to raise political will and participate in improving the management of the River Niger.
- Advocate for the ratification of the the 1997 UN Convention on the Law on the non-navigational uses of international watercourses. The eight countries concerned are Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Chad, Mali, Niger, Benin, Cameroon.
- to highlight exemplary field solutions.
In October 2011, the Fondation organized a conference “Solidarité africaine pour l’eau dans les pays du bassin du fleuve Niger” (African Solidarity for water in countries of the Niger River Basin)
Building upon President Jacques Chirac’s efforts
On April 26, 2004: Heads of State of the Niger River Authority met in Paris for a conference devoted to the International Partnership for the Niger Basin. They adopted nine principles of management and good governance for the sustainable development and shared Basin (Paris Declaration).
On 13 November 2008: “Water for Peace, Peace for Water“, the conference organized by Fondation Chirac calling on states to ratify the 1997 United Nations International Convention.
November 5, 2010 at the Second Awards ceremony for the Prize for Conflict Prevention and December 7, 2010, during the European Development Days, Jacques Chirac reiterated the importance of diversifying innovative financing for development.
March 22, 2011: Jacques Chirac met with Kofi Annan in Paris. They discussed possible collaborative projects between the Africa Progress Panel and the Fondation Chirac
March 22, 2011: World Water Day. See article: Water for Cities: Responding to Urban Challenges by Jean-Louis Oliver, General Delegate of the Fondation for Access to clean water and sanitation.
April 13 and 14: meeting of Catherine Joubert and Professor Gentilini with Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO. Issues related to food security will be the subject of their meeting
April 15, 2011: Scientific Committee Meeting
October 2011: conference on “African Solidarity for water in countries of the Niger River Basin”