This is very sad, but it is the state of many countries in our world. Haiti has always had problems with sanitation and even keeping their basic water supplies clean from disease.
Even before the quake, Haiti’s water and sanitation situation was dire. This open ditch is just one example. It runs along the streets in Port-au-Prince, filled with garbage, drain runoff, food waste, animal waste and human excrement.
Here in the United States we take access to safe water and sanitation for granted. But this wasn’t always the case. A little more than 100 years ago, New York, London and Paris were centers of infectious disease, and scenes like this one were commonplace. It was sweeping reforms in water and sanitation that enabled human progress to leap forward.