MINUSTAH denies rumour that it spread cholera in Haiti
The UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) denied Tuesday that it is at the origin of the ongoing outbreak of cholera in the Caribbean country, dpa reported.
"MINUSTAH is keen to shed light around rumours published by certain media that led to the belief that human refuse thrown into a river in Mirebalais by MINUSTAH would be at the origin of the cholera epidemic in Haiti," the mission said in a statement.
MINUSTAH said that it does have a Nepalese contingent in Mirebalais, which uses seven septic tanks. These tanks have, however, been built in accordance with the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mission said.
The septic tanks in question are emptied every week by a subcontractor's trucks, which then take their load to a site which has "the authorization of the municipality of Mirebalais," the statement stressed.
"It is 250 metres off the Meille river, which is more than 20 times the internationally required distance," MINUSTAH said.
Some 259 people have died and more than 3,000 infections have been confirmed since cholera broke out a week ago in central Haiti.
The government and aid organizations in the impoverished country are working frantically to stop the disease from spreading, amid fears that cholera could reach overcrowded refugee camps still housing around 1 million people since the January 12 earthquake.