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By Liz Moody
The combined lack of clean drinking water and adequate latrines enabled the spread of cholera, which quickly reached epidemic proportions, affecting some 650,000 Haitians and killing 8,300.
Cholera is completely preventable. A waterborne illness, cholera spreads when human waste comes in contact with the water supply. Properly constructed latrines keep waste out of the water supply, eliminating cholera’s means of spreading. In this age, no one should be dying of cholera: we have the knowledge, we have the technology, we just need the effort and people who care.
That’s where Pathfinders Project comes in. In cooperation with Children of the Border, the Pathfinders are building 20 latrines in La Fond-Jeannette, a town chosen for the community activism of its residents as well as its location. La Fond-Jeannette is upstream from many other communities, so preventing waterborne illnesses here will protect communities downstream, multiplying the effect of sanitation efforts. This is a project with lasting benefits that truly pays it forward and makes a clear difference in the lives of a family, their neighbors, and their community.
The Pathfinders and families provide digging and building labor; donations cover materials and payment for a local mason who oversees the project and ensures the structural integrity of the latrine. For a total cost of only $300 per latrine, you can protect a Haitian family, and, by extension, community, from easily avoidable but seriously threatening illnesses.
Spread the word, donate, and help the Pathfinders equip Haitian families with this basic necessity.