Chlorine protects 400,000 Haitians From Waterborne Disease

Washington, D.c. (PressExposure) December 11, 2008 -- Some 400,000 residents of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, now have access to clean water for the first time thanks in part to 100 neighborhood chlorinators designed and manufactured by NORWECO Inc. of Norwalk, Ohio, ( and specially designed dry chlorine tablets from Arch Chemicals Inc. of Norwalk, Connecticut. (

Starting in May of 2006, Washington, D.C. based International Action -- working with a Haitian group, Dlo Pwòp (“Clean Water” in Creole) -- has installed 100 water chlorinators in 23 of the poorest neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, providing the communities with clean water for the very first time.

The special Norweco tablet chlorinators require no electricity, but operate on the gravity flow of water from city or village water sources. They are simple to install, easy to operate and trouble-free to maintain. They are very effective in developing countries like Haiti where there is no community plumbing, but people must use buckets to retrieve their water from one main source each day.

The Arch Chemicals chlorine tablets used are comprised of calcium hypochlorite, which is widely used in disinfecting drinking water worldwide. They are also very reasonable in cost. In Haiti, for example, International Action’s chlorine costs are less than $50 each month to protect the water for 50,000 residents. Contributors to International Action are always surprised at how such few dollars can end up protecting so many residents.

The tablet chlorinators provide a steady, pre-set level of chlorination which persists in the water for many days. This provides dependable protection against the disease-causing bacteria common in the buckets, home storage tanks, and local piping in developing countries.

In a new program focused upon city water tanks, International Action is treating water with chlorine for the first time in Haiti. The impact of the new chlorine program is significant in a country with the highest infant and child mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere.

“The largest killer of children in all developing countries is waterborne disease such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and chronic diarrhea. These diseases lead to the premature and avoidable deaths of 2.6 million children each year. Under no circumstance should be happening; we can install a water chlorinator that lasts a generation. It will provide up to 10,000 people with clean, safe drinking water. Chlorine is becoming a major force for public health in Haiti”, said Lindsay Mattison, Director of International Action.

In Simmond Pelé – one of the most notorious shantytowns – President Pierre Joab of the local water board said, “Since International Action installed chlorinators, the rate of diarrhea and sickness of children dropped dramatically. Kids are not getting sick any more. We learned we can prevent such diseases. We’d like to keep it this way.”

International Action, along with the technologies and expertise of Norweco and Arch chemicals, is demonstrating a prime example of how companies with the right technologies can contribute to society and help make the lives of those in need, richer.

For more information about International Action and how you might help, please contact International Action at (202) 488-0735 or info ( @ ) haitiwater dot org

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About International Action

International Action is a non-profit incorporated in Washington, DC with a staff of three in the U.S. and five in Haiti and several hundred members. Our Campaign in Haiti will continue for five years and hopes to reach all 1.5 million residents in Port-au-Prince

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Press Release Submitted On: December 09, 2008 at 7:29 am
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