Marie-Alixe Kima is a Haitian-American doctor who worked in Haiti after the earthquake, and during the cholera outbreak in 2011, when she helped in the effort to build a cholera treatment center with International Medical Corps in Ennery, near the epicenter of the outbreak. As an infectious disease specialist, Marie understands how challenging it is to improve public health when open defecation is the norm in so many rural areas. She has spent a great deal of time thinking about how poor infrastructure and the lack of sanitation continues to fuel the spread of cholera, and contributes to a long list of other serious health issues, ranging from chronic diarrheal disease and malnutrition, high rates of infant mortality, and even the personal safety of girls and women who don’t have access to a toilet. Marie contacted GiveLove over two years ago with the hope of bringing compost toilets to Tiburon, a small fishing village of 27,000 people located 367 km South West of Port-au-Prince.
Open defecation is very common in Tiburon, and a significant cause of water and environmental pollution in these coastal areas. Lucho Jean, our Country Program Director, recently visited communities to see local sanitation conditions first-hand, and to scout suitable cover material for the pilot toilets. All donations for the Tiburon project will go directly towards establishing this new pilot program.