The cholera outbreak in Haiti has been ongoing for over five years, and, unfortunately, the disease is still harming and infecting many. Over 8,500 people in Haiti have died from the disease and thousands more have been infected.
Cholera is a bacterial disease most commonly caused by ingesting contaminated food or drinking water. It can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. The disease has spread rapidly in Haiti since hygiene practices are poor and there is a lack of proper sanitation and latrines in the devastated nation.
In Haiti, the most common, current sanitation system consists of bayakous, a system similar to having an open septic tank underneath the home. One of the biggest problems with bayakous is that many people cannot afford to have one, causing contamination in many otherwise clean areas. After the earthquake in 2010, short-term solutions were put in place in the form of porta-potties. However, this was never meant as a long-term solution, and proper, sustainable sanitation practices have still not been implemented.