Changing Waters: Cholera Permeates Life in Haiti

In the summer of 2012, nearly two years after the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, the devastating illness remains a pervasive threat. When the disease first surged in October 2010, the bacteria affected not only waterways but also the daily lives and cultural psyche of Haitians. Cholera has claimed the lives of 7,000 Haitians. It also casts an ominous shadow across life-giving community water sources and taxes the limited resources of the government and health care providers.

Now, as the disease becomes endemic, the seasonal spikes of cases provide a backdrop to questions about how the country will respond. Historic distrust of UN peacekeeping forces has evolved into bitter blame. Allegations as to the UN's role in bringing cholera to Haiti dominate a Haitian court case against the world body. Aid agencies and government bodies scramble to confront the epidemic, but concerns have arisen that such services are only a quick fix for a problem that lies deep within Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure. Medically, treating cholera in an individual is relatively cheap and easy. But for the country as a whole the challenge is only getting more complicated.

A Changing World? Pulitzer Center Photography Exhibition

Pulitzer Center student fellows travel the world to report on issues that affect us all—telling stories that might otherwise go untold. This exhibit features selected work by student fellows, shot on location in countries now undergoing rapid transformation, from the roads in Bangkok to a Maasai village in Tanzania.

Panic Has Subsided, But Cholera Remains in Haiti

Two years after the onset of cholera in Haiti, efforts to improve public health practices, such as hand-washing and drinking purified water, are paying off. Daily routines are changing—albeit slowly.

Haiti and Water Poverty

"Water poverty" is difficult to calculate and harder to conceptualize. After cholera erupted in Haiti, what does water poverty mean to Haitians in their daily life?