No water again this morning so another bucket wash. It’s strange how something I take so for granted in Rome – running water, hot showers, cold drinks – becomes a luxury good here in Haiti. For people who are out on the streets, things are way more difficult.
When there’s a strong earthquake the movement underground can break pipes and disrupt the water supply. I was told last week that before the earthquake parts of Haiti were served by water trucks rather than the mains water supply, so I don’t know how much of an issue the breaking pipes is. However, in the total chaos and following the earthquake a large number of people found themselves without access to water.
Today I’m going to do a story on the installation of a water bladder that Caritas is taking to a camp. It’s a strange thing, a water bladder, sort of like a big blue water bed. It can hold 15,000 litres of water – enough for 1000 people a day.
While I’m watching the men of the camp digging, I get talking to a medical volunteer. He tells me that in the tent they’ve set up they get cases of dehydration-related headaches and also stomach bugs from when people have drunk dirty water.
I start to wonder what impact the earthquake will have on people’s long-term health. They’re not drinking enough water, they’re not getting enough food and they continue to be in a constant state of stress and uncertainty.