RESPONSIBILITY/SERVICE: Design Support for Plumbing and Ventilation Systems
Photography: Iwan Baan
Providing a Permanent Solution to help Heal a Cholera-Inflicted Community
In 2010, shortly after the catastrophic earthquake impacting millions of people, Haiti was soon afflicted with a rampant cholera epidemic. Cholera is an infectious disease caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacteria called “Vibrio Cholerae.” Due to the displacement of many people after the earthquake, the already existing Cholera epidemic resurfaced with vengeance. The overcrowding communities coupled with poor sanitation in facilities, caused many illnesses, some leading to death. A vaccine was produced to help counteract this ongoing epidemic but providing treatment required an immense amount of support. Check out the video to learn more about the devastating earthquake.
Temporary Solution Challenges
Emergency medical crews established temporary tent stations, providing immediate aid to cholera victims. The tents were never intended as a long-term plan. They lacked piped-toilets, pumped water systems, and any decontamination facilities.
“There were no piped toilets or wastewater decontamination in the tents,” says Michael Murphy, MASS cofounder and executive director, “And the method of dealing with the crisis (i.e., privatized collection and removal) was not happening appropriately.”
A treatment facility with proper sanitation, including clean water & sewage capabilities was needed to not only care for patients, but for setting an example of proper facility standards for the community and nation as a whole. New standards needed to be precedented.
Mazzetti provided design development support of the plumbing system and ventilation design for the GHESKIO Cholera Treatment Center (CTC). The CTC added to the services of the existing GHESKIO Hospital. The CTC treats all of its waste-water onsite and increases well-source water supply with a rainwater collection system. The rainwater is purified and used for all treatment needs. The “anaerobic bio-digester” is a quad-chamber system, incorporating a chlorine-purifying process. The reinforced-concrete and steel structure is earthquake and hurricane resistant; that is, CTC was erected on a three-foot platform in the event of a flood. This also contributes to the rain-water cache system.