Urban Disaster Resiliency Forum – Promoting Global Solidarity for Capacity Building of Local Governments and Operators in Disaster Vulnerable Regions for Urban Resiliency
Haiti: Challenges of Metropolitan Recovery & Sustainable Development
Organized by IWA and W-SMART, September 19, 2010, Montreal
Back from left: Joao Fidalgo (EPAL), Gerald Luyet (Geneva water), Dr Darren Saywell (IWA), Peter Dane (Vewin, Nederland)
On September 19, 2010, in Toronto Canada, was held a historical meeting. In the wake of the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti in January 2010, Jude Elie, an urban development/civil engineer graduate wanted to bring his assistance to his country in the way he knows best. For that purpose, he called upon his mentor, Professor Ilan Juran, a professor at the University of New York and the Executive Director of W-SMART (Water Security Management Assessment Research and Technology) for advice and assistance.
After months of evaluation and research, Jude Elie, Eng and Professor Juran established a contact with the members of IWA (International Water Association). They wanted to pledge the participation of Haiti at the World Water Workshop.
The workshop was held in Toronto, Canada where were invited a number of representatives from the Haitian Government and members of Non Governmental Organizations in Haiti. The invitees were selected based on their first hand knowledge of Haiti needs, challenges, and the country’s available resources. Mr. Yvon Jerome, the mayor of Carrefour attended via teleconference, Mr. Gerald Jean Baptiste, General Director (DINEPA) and Mr. Harry Adam, Eng., General Director (FAES) responded to the invitation and attended the workshop in Canada. W-SMART (Water Security Management Assessment Research and Technology) and IWA (International Water Association) sponsored the Haitian delegation’s travel.
The workshop lasted 1 day. It focused on the challenges of post disaster urban revitalization, the critical needs for rebuilding the urban water supply and sanitation systems, and the measures needed to improve public health in Haiti. During the brainstorming sessions, the members of the Haitian delegation shared the various challenges that exist in Haiti, such as the water and sanitation issues, the transportation challenges and other problematic areas that affect the population’s daily living. The members of IWA, W-SMART, the Water of the city of Paris, Geneva Water, EPAL Portugal, Nederland , OMS/WHO also provided their thoughts on strategies that can be employed for an adequate reconstruction of adequate drinking water and water sanitation networks.
The Workshop was fruitful and ended in a positive note with the mayor of Carrefour Mr. Yvon Jerome inviting the members of IWA and W-Smart to come in Haiti for an assessment of the actual situation of the country. In the meantime a designated team selected during the conference is working on plans for the visit to Haiti by members of IWA, and W-SMART.
The people of Haiti can look forward to the expertise assistance of IWA and W-SMART that will work in collaboration with the Government of Haiti for the adequate reconstruction of safe drinking water and water purification networks.
The representatives of IWA and W-SMART, and other members present at the conference vowed to provide the technical assistance needed to provide an adequate training to their Haitian counterparts in regards to water safety, water conservation, water purification, and sanitation for the achievement of sustainable development.