Recognizing that no organization can accomplish this vision alone, HANWASH serves as an umbrella organization to bring together many diverse partners within the water and sanitation sector in Haiti.

HANWASH (Haiti National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Initiative) is a collaborative national initiative to provide safe, sustainable, and affordable water and sanitation to all the citizens of Haiti, along with the associated health, community and economic benefits. This initiative is led by Rotary International District 7020 and DINEPA (the Haitian Government’s National Directorate for Water Supply and Sanitation), along with other non-governmental organization (NGO) partners, such as Haiti Outreach.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. In 2015, the United Nations declared 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the world to achieve by the year 2030. SDG #6 is clean water and improved sanitation facilities for everyone in the world. HANWASH is committed to work to achieve that goal for the people of Haiti.


Universal sustainable access to safe drinking water, sanitation and promotion of good hygiene practices throughout Haiti


To develop and implement business-based best practices for public and private collaborations to build capacity in local communities to deliver drinking water and sanitation to all citizens of Haiti

The concept of a national strategy in the form of HANWASH emerged in early 2017 during discussions between various levels of Rotary, both in Haiti and internationally, including leadership of Rotary District 7020, Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation, and the WASH Rotary Action Group.

In January 2018, these conversations resulted in the signing of a resolution between Rotary and DINEPA (Haitian government’s National Directorate for Water Supply and Sanitation) agreeing to develop and implement a partnership to support the Haitian government in achieving the goal of universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. On this basis HANWASH was born with the mandate to create a structure and business plan to deliver clean safe water, enhance sanitation and hygiene for all the citizens of Haiti.

The many diverse partners within the water and sanitation sector in Haiti consist of (1) the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who dig wells, create city water systems and build micro-flush toilets; (2) the donor agencies who are committed to funding water programs; (3) DINEPA who is the governmental agency in Haiti that is set up outside the politics of the federal government to coordinate and regulate water and sanitation; and (4) Rotary International District 7020, working in cooperation with The Rotary Foundation and other Rotary district and club partners. HANWASH has brought these world players together to do what many has believed impossible – to bring potable water, sanitation, and hygiene to an entire nation.




We support community leadership in governance of WASH infrastructure and services.



Volunteers, government authorities, and partner are engaged in a meaningful way.



We will be thoughtful and consistent in planning, doing, and improving our work.



Sustainability is a key metric of our success.



We will not stop until the job is done.

Our dream is to bring potable water and good sanitation to the entire country of Haiti

– Barry Rassin, Rotary International President 2018-19

Barry Rassin


As HANWASH transitions from its launch phase (2018-2021) into a five-year pilot phase (2021-2025), there was a shift in strategy. In the first phase, the team established the foundation of HANWASH, charted its direction with a strategic plan, identified project opportunities and conducted scoping and feasibility studies. Milestones include a signed partnership with DINEPA, receiving a US$228,000 Global Grant, obtaining non-profit status, resetting the subcommittees, and hiring an Executive Director.

Entering the second phase, HANWASH shifted its focus to project execution, securing funding for two new Global Grants, and critically monitoring and learning from the process. This was a key test for HANWASH which aims to substantiate the value proposition that rural and urban drinking water services in Haiti can be both financially and operationally viable. This has become a major element of the HANWASH ‘learning agenda’.

The crux of our knowledge and learning strategy focuses on identifying and answering important questions, validating assumptions, making mistakes, learning from them, and sharing what has been learned with the rest of the WASH sector – international donors, sophisticated multinational NGOs, and research institutions. For HANWASH to increase its credibility, quality data and useful lessons need to be shared to contribute to progress of the WASH sector as a whole.