A capital challenge in Haiti

November 03, 2011
Until February 2011, Jean-Claude Seropian, a French hydraulic engineer, worked in Paris as director of operations of Suez Environnement, one of the world’s leading water and waste management companies. That month he moved to Haiti as head of a team of five technical, financial and management experts from Suez and two sister companies, Aguas de Barcelona and United Water. Their mission: to work with the staff of Port-au-Prince’s ailing water utility to arrest the decline of its services.

A water turnaround in Haiti

November 03, 2011
Before the project started in 2008, Saint Marc had running water for nine hours a week, at best. At present service is up to 10 hours a day—the highest average in any urban area in Haiti.

A small price to pay

November 03, 2011
GOMIER, Haiti – Danette François used to walk 30 minutes to fetch water from a well in this seaside village. The water was free but brackish and untreated. Her children often fell ill. She now spends a few minutes each day to fill a 5-gallon bucket of chlorinated water, paying a community-established fee of one gourde— the equivalent of two cents. “The price? It’s really cheap, like a gift,” said François, who has five children between the ages of 10 and 4. “I’m happy. My kids are not getting sick.”

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

A home-grown solution for Latin America’s water crisis

March 01, 2006
By Luis Alberto Moreno*As delegates gathered at the IV World Water Forum in Mexico City earlier this month, many were asking whether the private sector still has a role to play in solving the critical sanitation problems of the developing world.

Environmental action as a source of revenue

February 18, 2005
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which takes effect on Feb. 16, brings Latin America and the Caribbean an opportunity to link sustainable economic development with environmental protection. Under the Kyoto Protocol, roughly 30 of the world’s industrialized nations have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2012.

Service worth the price

September 01, 2004
By Paul Constance, Puerto Cortés“He transformed a malodorous swamp into a modern and progressive city.” That’s how a leading Honduran daily recently summed up the political legacy of Marlon Lara, a young mayor who has run the Caribbean city of Puerto Cortés since 1994. But while “malodorous swamp” might be a metaphor for any number of social ills, the newspaper was referring, literally, to water and sanitation projects that became the hallmark of Lara’s administration.

Glass half full

July 01, 2004
By Paul Constance, San Pedro Sula, HondurasDepending on whom you ask, San Pedro Sula’s water system is either a remarkable success or a cautionary tale. The basic facts are not in dispute. Between 1999 and 2003, the number of homes with residential water service in San Pedro Sula increased from 84 percent to 93 percent, thanks to the installation of 13,600 new connections. The proportion of tap water receiving proper sanitary treatment rose from 22 percent to 80 percent. Water pressure and continuity increased throughout the system.