Abject water poverty is rampant in Haiti. Nearly half of all Haitians are among the world’s 1 billion without satisfactory access to clean drinking water; over two-thirds are counted in the 2.6 billion without adequate sanitation. Only one-fourth of city dwellers have plumbing connections, and service is unreliable. Each day means foraging for enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning from water tanks, street vendors, and wells, by illegally tapping water mains, and as a last resort, drawing from unclean streams and ditches. Water is the main source of Haiti’s terrible illness and mortality rates — average life expectancy is only 53.
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