The American Red Cross has announced $1.8 million in funding to create a waste-collection hotline and removal network in Port-au-Prince.
Although the Haitian capital has been plagued by solid-waste removal problems for years, the situation was exacerbated by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the country in January. The funding announced by the Red Cross on Thursday will be used to implement, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and Disaster Waste Recovery, a solid-waste removal program in underserved areas of the city, particularly in and around the many temporary settlements that have sprung up since the quake. Through the program, private contractors and SMCRS — the government agency responsible for waste collection in Haiti — will gather waste at designated areas and dispose of it in authorized dumpsites. The funding also will support the creation of a waste collection hotline that enables registered community members, nonprofit organizations, and private contractors to request or provide services via telephone or the Internet.
"This hotline and removal service will improve sanitation for many vulnerable people living in camps around Port-au-Prince," said Ricardo Caivano, country representative for the Red Cross in Haiti. "As the current cholera outbreak makes clear, it is vital to tackle health and sanitation issues in tandem."