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Red Cross: Haitians still lack water, sanitation

Red Cross: Haitians still lack water, sanitation

Aid agencies providing sanitation and water services in Haiti are stretched to their capacities and cannot help indefinitely, the British Red Cross said in a report Wednesday.
It called for more international support for the Haitian administration.
The London-based humanitarian organization said that six months after the devastating quake in January, many Haitians still have no access to basic sanitation and warned the agency's resources are running out.
"What we're doing can't carry on forever. We don't have infinite resources to provide that," said Alastair Burnett, an operations manager with the British Red Cross. "We are all stretched to our capacity and are simply containing a critical situation, rather than solving it."
The Red Cross and other agencies have provided most of the clean water and toilets for the 1.2 million Haitians camping out in temporary settlements since January.
Reconstruction has been slow because of government disfunction and the scale of the disaster, and so far only a fraction of the billions of dollars pledged in foreign aid has been delivered.
Sanitation in Haiti before the quake was already among the worst in the world _ only 17 percent of the population had access to a toilet, a situation comparable to parts of Somalia, the Red Cross said.
Although aid agencies had managed to avoid large outbreaks of diarrhea or cholera in the camps after the quake, Burnett said the provision of basic sanitation has been mixed.