Sanitation Mission: Lamielle Latrine Project
Our second major sanitation project was the installation 825 latrines in the community of Lamielle, Haiti. In March of 2018, we accomplished our goal by installing a latrine at every home, every school, and every church in this impoverished community.
Lamielle is an exceptionally poor community in the Central Plateau of Haiti on the border with the Dominican Republic. It has a population of 4,336 people living in 812 homes. Only 26 of the home had a functioning latrine. Most people were forced to defecate in shallow pits or in open fields. Because drinking water is sourced from the local river, the resulting public health issues due to improper disposal of human waste were devastating. The lack of proper sanitation resulted in the spread of bacterial, viral, and protozoal gastrointestinal infections, including cholera.
Since the 2010 introduction of cholera into Haiti, over 750,000 people, or seven percent of the Haitian population, has been infected with cholera and an estimated 10,000 people have died as a result. Cholera is an infectious disease spread primarily through water contaminated with human waste. Because Lamielle lacked proper sanitation, cholera outbreaks were a common occurrence.
The simple fact is, latrines save lives. In 2015 the Cheerful Heart Mission, in partnership with the Black Rock Church in Fairfield, Connecticut, completed the installation of 1,250 latrines (CHM 725, Black Rock 525) in the neighboring community of Tilori. Lamielle is located only three miles from Tilori, in the same watershed.
Local healthcare professionals have indicated that since the completion of the Tilori and Lamielle Latrine Projects the incidence of cholera originating in these communities has decreased dramatically, to zero. The doctors and nurses there could not be more pleased.
Our next public health project is the Laqua Latrine Project beginning in 2019.