Loughborough University
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Loughborough University

Making a Difference 2010 Review

Reaching out across the world

Helping Haiti to get back on its feet

Bob Reed from the University’s Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) travelled to the Caribbean island of Haiti in 2010 to support the major relief effort taking place across the country in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that hit at the start of the year.

When Bob arrived in Haiti, conditions in the thousands of settlements, which had been set up to house survivors, were very basic and sanitation had quickly become a major concern. Sixty percent of settlements had no sanitation at all and in those that did, each toilet was shared by up to 1,000 survivors.

Supported by colleagues back at WEDC, he worked with UNICEF and the Haiti Government to assist with the provision of emergency sanitation systems in Port au Prince. Bob advised non-government organisations on their work with water and sanitation and ensured that the work carried out met the requirements of the Humanitarian Charter, which aims to ‘achieve defined levels of service for people affected by calamity or armed conflict and to promote the observance of fundamental humanitarian principles.’


WEDC, which is part of the University’s Department of Civil and Building Engineering, has been involved with emergency water supply and sanitation for almost 40 years and is internationally renowned for its work.

Many of the senior staff in the support agencies working in Haiti are former WEDC students who trained at Loughborough.