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In response to the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, SELF is accelerating its work to power health clinics in Haiti with their partner on the ground, Partners In Health (PIH). SELF has already provided solar electricity to clinics in Boucan Carré, Cerca La Source and Hinche, and will now speed up the process of solar electrifying all 12 PIH sites in Haiti.
Hold On [4 Haiti] was written immediately after the devastating quake in Haiti. "At the time of the earthquake, Steel Pulse were in Jamaica, working on our new album," says lead singer David Hinds. "We felt the tremor. Two days later, we put down the track. Our challenge was to find a way to get the song out to the public in a manner that would help the people of Haiti in a meaningful way. It took us a while to find the right organization to donate the song to - one that makes a difference on the ground. We were impressed with SELF and their Solar Health Care Partnership with PIH."
"We can't get weary, you know," says Hinds. "Haiti still needs our support for the long term, and we know that SELF and PIH will be there every day and night."
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and there is no access to electricity in almost all of the Haitian countryside. Currently almost all the PIH clinics in Haiti are powered by diesel generators, a costly and polluting source of energy. Diesel fuel must be trucked in via Haiti’s treacherous mountain roads. Transporting large amounts of fuel necessary to power generators for clinics, hospitals, schools, is difficult, especially during the rainy season.
When heavy rains cause washouts, the clinics must go without power, compromising healthcare for hundreds of thousands of impoverished Haitians.
Pregnant women are particularly endangered and death in childbirth occurs at a greater rate here than any other country in the west. In 2004, for every 100,000 births, 523 mothers died, as compared with 8 in Europe.
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