This study investigates differences in men's and women's access to water and sanitation in Leogane, Haiti (population -300,000), a town situated at the epicenter of the January 2010 earthquake. While research suggests that women's water and sanitation access is crucial to health, security, and equity in post-disaster situations, there are a number of limitations to current participatory approaches in post-disaster reconstruction. Underlining the social importance of water access in Haiti were reports citing a Jack of potable water and sanitation as one factor contributing to the spread of cholera, which was introduced by UN peacekeepers aher the earthquake. Limited access to water and sanitation facilities was also reported as a factor in the lack of security for women and children in the internally displaced persons camps. The results of this NSF-RAPID study are presented pertaining to gender issues in the context of post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction efforts in Haiti. We ask specifically how gender dimensions can be integrated into community-based participatory processes of water and sanitation planning, which face many challenges in post-disaster situations. We conclude that more robust participatory processes that include women and other marginalized groups in planning and decision making can be used to elicit and support local knowledge, practices and preferences, ultimately leading to more appropriate infrastructure systems that will be more socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable.
Sheller, Mimi; Galada, Heather C.; Montalto, Franco A.; Gurian, Patrick L.; Piasecki, Michael; Ayalew, Tibebu B.; and O'Connor, Stephen
"Gender, Disaster, and Resilience: Assessing Women's Water and Sanitation Needs in Leogane, Haiti, before and after the 201 O Earthquake,"
wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/wh2ojournal/vol2/iss1/4