Strengthening market systems that provide water and hygiene items for cholera mitigation and emergency preparedness in Haiti
In the context of the cholera epidemics in Haiti, a pre-crisis market analysis (PCMA) was conducted in Artibonite to study the supply of and demand for various water- and hygiene-related items. The objective was to inform current and future assistance modalities, whilst avoiding a negative impact on local markets and supporting local businesses. The market analysis found that the majority of households already purchase soap from local traders, but very few have handwashing facilities in their home. A good uptake of chlorine-based disinfection products was observed, including specific products to treat water for drinking. In addition, an extensive local supply of calcium hypochlorite (HTH), traditionally used by water services operators, was found to be available to individuals on Haitian markets. The market for water containers was also found to be strong, with the recycling of buckets and jerry cans used to import vegetable oil and other products. However, buckets with a tap, which are recommended for safer water handling and distributed during emergencies, were not available in the market. The findings from the PCMA are being used to strengthen market systems and supply chains to enable households to access water and hygiene commodities in Artibonite rather than to provide in-kind commodities directly as part of humanitarian responses. A marketing scheme was successfully piloted to encourage the purchase of water treatment products while promoting the installation of taps on households’ buckets. But another initiative to link water committees, national authorities and the wholesaler of HTH stalled due to disagreements about the role of authorities in supplying the product.