Sanitation Mission: Lamielle Latrine Project
We are undertaking our second major sanitation project with the installation 825 latrines in the community of Lamielle, Haiti. Lamielle is only three miles from Tilori, Haiti, the location of our first sanitation project. By March of 2018, our goal is to install 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 have a functioning latrine. Most people are forced to defecate in shallow pits or in open fields. The resulting public health issues due to improper disposal of human waste are devastating. The lack of proper sanitation results 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 lacks proper sanitation, cholera outbreaks can occur at any time.
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 in the neighboring community of Tilori. Local healthcare professionals have indicated that since the completion of the Tilori Latrine Project the incidence of cholera originating in Tilori has decreased dramatically, to near zero. Based on our experience, we expect the Lamielle Latrine Project to have the same positive impact.