Clean Water in Haiti
Haiti has struggled with a copious number of natural disasters in the past. These natural disasters tend to exacerbate the effects of poverty, including the lack of proper sanitation. Among rural citizens in Haiti, only 20% of the population has the resources to sanitize properly. A lack of sanitary water plays a significant role in the quality of life in Haiti. Luckily, organizations are working to provide aid for clean water in Haiti and increase access to sanitary water for all citizens.

Pure Water for the World

Pure Water for the World started more than 15 years ago. Since then, this organization has made a significant impact on the access to clean water in Haiti among other countries. The program primarily assists Honduras and Haiti; it has positively impacted the lives of over 750,000 people.

Pure Water for the World dedicates itself to several solutions through its WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) program. Its goal is to work alongside the public to devise a solution that is the best fit for their communities. Pure Water for the World uses four main strategies. These include water technologies, sanitation technologies, education and training, and sustainability measures.

Water technologies may include installing a pipe that can bring water to a school, collecting rainwater to use or creating filters for communal use. One of the program’s goals is to add handwashing stations, which would help to lower the risk of disease spread. Additionally, the program attempts to educate everyone on proper sanitation and get classes in schoolrooms to discuss hygiene. The WASH program also checks up with regions that it has previously helped to make sure that their chosen method is a long-term solution rather than a temporary fix.

Pure Water for the World has been a successful program so far. In northern Haiti, filters were put into people’s homes to help with water purity. When a group of families was visited for a filter check, the results were fantastic. All of the filters were working well. That leaves a likely high success rate in the 100 homes where the filters are working to maintain access to clean water in Haiti.

The Road to Hope

In addition, not only is Pure Water for the World pursuing changes in Haiti but so is The Road to Hope. The Road to Hope acknowledges that not all of the numerous projects and plans to help Haiti are in line with individual communities’ goals. The organization seeks to work alongside Haitians to ensure successful strategies.

The Road to Hope’s goals is primarily to educate and to end poverty in Haiti. These accomplishments would help improve overall access to sanitary water. An overall increase in wealth would result in the availability of more expensive materials to provide purified water throughout Haiti.

Overall, water-related illnesses have caused children to miss school 443 million times. This demonstrates the broader social implications of lacking access to clean water. The Road to Hope provides the people of Haiti with community centers to give them a place where they can get proper sanitation and safe water.

Global Environment Facility

Furthermore, on June 3, 2020, the Global Environment Facility approved a five-year, $4.5 million water project in Haiti.  The project hopes to be able to make clean water available to 90,000 Haitians. If the project is successful, it will make quite an impact on the quality of life for many Haitians.

In conclusion, Pure Water for the World, The Road to Hope, and the Global Environment Facility are providing promising solutions to unsafe water. The lack of sanitation and pure water is a threat to Haiti, but these organizations have proved to be successful in providing clean water in Haiti.

– Hailee Shores
Photo: Flickr

Tunisian OasesTunisia is home to over 200 oases located across the country’s southern governorates. These oases account for more than 40,000 hectares of agriculturally productive land and house 10% of the country’s population. In Southern Tunisia, oases provide food security and employment for local populations. In addition, they serve as trade centers that connect remote regions. However, several challenges threaten the biodiversity of Tunisian oases and the livelihood of residents. Rapid urbanization and monoculture farming have placed tremendous pressure on water resources and resulted in land degradation. As agricultural productivity decreases, young people migrate to the cities in search of better employment opportunities. The lack of proper management has also led many areas to fall into a state of neglect.

The Oases Ecosystems and Livelihoods Project

In 2014, the World Bank implemented the Oases Ecosystems and Livelihoods Project, better known by its French acronym GDEO. It is aimed at improving sustainable natural resources management and conserving the biodiversity of selected oases in southern Tunisia. Co-funded by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, the project’s total cost was estimated at 170.50 million USD. The initiative achieved stellar success. Various microprojects restored crucial irrigation systems, renewed water cycles and provided jobs for local residents. The number of beneficiaries totaled at 23,257, exceeding the initial target of 18,000.

Environmental Impact

Tunisian oases form a unique ecosystem ideal for the flourishing of diverse flora and fauna. This impressive biodiversity was endangered by monoculture practices on date farms. The practices used up natural water supplies and caused the loss of unique plant species and varieties. To remedy these harms, the GDEO implemented a total of 60 micro-projects that helped renovate irrigation infrastructure and protect the area against wild boars. They also helped to enforce pest management and diversify crop cultivation by introducing palm and fruit trees. Crop diversification significantly reduced land degradation, which contributed to sustaining the region’s ecosystems.

Furthermore, another key component of the plan is improving the management of oasis natural resources to protect against flooding and sand invasion. An additional component is scaling up sustainable land and water management (SLWM) practices to enhance agricultural productivity. As a result, SLWM practices transformed 900 hectares of land, exceeding the original target of 700 hectares.

Support for Farmers

The provision of training and tools to farmers has increased crop yields and sustained farmers’ livelihoods. They include introducing mechanical plows and organic fertilizers. In addition, farmers receive training on how to farm more efficiently through the implementation of “3-state agriculture.” This is a method of production that pays off with higher crop diversity and higher production within a limited space. More than 200 people participated in training programs, and 5056 farmers ended up adopting SLWM practices. Equipped with the right skills and tools, more and more young farmers now choose to stay and work in the oases. With knowledge of new farming techniques, farmers can profit more from their work while also being mindful of the ecosystem and natural resources.

Economic Empowerment

Most importantly, oasis renewal and rehabilitation enables local residents to earn a living through beneficial and profitable engagement with the local region. This offers an alternative to migration to urban centers. Community-based projects support a variety of farming and non-farming activities. These activities include craftsmanship, ovine fattening activities and beekeeping as well as cultural heritage conservation and ecotourism. “Jobs have been created–about half of them for women and youth,” said Taoufiq Bennouna, World Bank Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist. In total, more than 226 micro-projects focused on SLWM, conservation, artisanship and ecotourism development have resulted in 735 direct jobs and improved income.


Overall, the World Bank’s Tunisian Oases Ecosystems and Livelihoods Project has brought new life to Tunisian oases by preserving their diverse ecosystems and helping farmers maintain their livelihoods.

– Alice Nguyen
Photo: Flickr

Facts About Life Expectancy in BarbadosLife expectancy is affected by many different factors including, but not limited to, health care, access to food, disease control and sanitation. In Barbados, the high life expectancy rate is a result of the high quality of life that many citizens experience. Below are eight facts about life expectancy in Barbados.

8 Facts About Life Expectancy in Barbados

  1. The average life expectancy in Barbados is approximately 79 years. Life expectancy is higher than for women at 80.1 years compared to 77.6 years for men. Barbados has the highest-ranking life expectancy in the Caribbean.

  2. Dengue fever is a potentially fatal mosquite-borne disease that is endemic in Barbados. Barbados has fought dengue fever for decades, with its most recent outbreak in 2016. In addition to awareness campaigns, the Ministry of Health prioritizes fogging exercises and house-to-house inspections to contain the spread of dengue.

  3. The leading cause of death in Barbados is heart disease. Noncommunicable diseases accounted for 83 percent of all deaths in Barbados in 2016. Diabetes and cancer are the other main causes of death. Health care in Barbados is held to a high standard and easily available to most. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is the main provider of secondary care for the population.

  4. The infant mortality rate is 11.3 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 2018. While this is a sharp decline since 1960 when the infant mortality rate stood at 69.6, the rate is higher than the average of 4 deaths per 1,000 live births for high-income countries globally.

  5. Barbados experienced its biggest increase in life expectancy in 1951. In response to The Great Depression, Barbados entered a time of political change that fundamentally transformed the island. The spike in life expectancy continued to increase in pace, as the country developed into an independent nation.

  6. Barbados participated in the U.N. project, “Piloting Climate Change: Adaptation to Protect Human Health.” The Global Environment Facility funded the project. Environmental challenges that affect health include air quality, vector-borne diseases, waste disposal and water scarcity. The objective of the project was to deal with climate-sensitive health risks. Some of the achievements in Barbados were disease prevention, a quick and reliable response system and better storage for rainwater. Only six other countries participated: Bhutan, China, Fiji, Kenya, Jordan and Uzbekistan.

  7. In 2019 there were 100 AIDS-related deaths. Ninety-two percent of the population living with AIDS know their status. According to the Ministry of Health, there have been no babies born with HIV in the past six decades, which is a significant accomplishment.

  8. In 2017, the homicide rate was 10.5 cases per 100,000 population. The most common crimes are drug-related and residential burglaries.

These eight facts about life expectancy in Barbados show that the country is well on its way to being a prospering nation. While there are some challenges, the quality of life in Barbados is on the higher side of the spectrum compared to other Caribbean countries. With a focus on disease control and prevention, as well as continued better access to health care, the life expectancy rate could increase over the next 10 years.

Taylor Pittman
Photo: Flickr