Saturday, December 24, 2011


(Haiti Libre) -

With a $210,000 grant from the Emergency Relief Response Fund (ERRF) managed by OCHA, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) is extending until June, its desludging and maintenance activities of sanitation structures set up on the Champs de Mars since January 2010. Withdrawal from Champs de Mars requires additional time to develop an exit strategy, says ACF.

Located around the Presidential Palace, Champs de Mars is still home to nearly 19,000 displaced people. While the number of IDPs in camps has decreased steadily, the population of the Champ de Mars has been rather stable.

ACF is currently the only partner covering the sanitation and hygiene needs of Champs de Mars residents. Its program includes daily desludging of 239 toilets, maintenance of sanitation and hygiene facilities, twice daily disinfection of mobile toilets and hygiene promotion activities.

In May 2011, ACF ended its activities on all the sites where it was present, with the exception of Champs de Mars, where its programs were initially scheduled to last until the end of December 2011.

Unlike other sites hosting displaced people, individuals living on the Champs de Mars come from different neighbourhoods, which does not allow for a community approach to the maintenance and cleaning of sanitation infrastructure as is the case elsewhere, according to ACF.

The organization´s withdrawal depends on institutional commitment to respond to sanitation and hygiene needs of Champs de Mars residents until the closure of the camp.

ACF has already begun discussions to define to what extent and when DINEPA will be able to take over sanitation services.

Champs de Mars is one of the priority areas of the relocation program of President Martelly. Eventually the camp will be closed and relocation solutions will be offered to its residents.

To this end the Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr. Garry Conille has announced "...the Champ de Mars is now our priority and we announce that the count is finished for the Champ de Mars [...] we hope that in the first week of January we will start to see people leave the Champ de Mars."

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