This gift in action
While most rural areas escaped the devastation wrought by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, districts like Petite Riviere were threatened by the subsequent outbreak of cholera. So, alongside some essential hygiene advice, Oxfam provided Eugene Joseph and 700 other people with the training, building plans and tools they needed to construct their own toilets.
And it's a vast improvement on the existing situation where Eugene and his family would go in the bush or the street.
"We never had a latrine before because we had to dig it ourselves. We didn't have the tools to dig." Oxfam provided him with a pick so he could dig the latrine pit and a building plan. "We built the latrine because we were scared that the cholera would spread to our house. Now we’re proud of it and we’re happy that Oxfam is helping."
This is echoed by Eugene's neighbour and carpenter, Erntz Jean, who also received materials from Oxfam to build a latrine, and is helping others to build theirs: "Everybody here is very happy about this. Not only me. I'd have had a latrine before, but I've never had the money."
Oxfam's help has meant that Eugene's family and the wider community have reduced the impact of cholera in their area, and can look forward to a healthier future.