Orkin Partners With NPMA for Haiti Relief Effort

After an earthquake destroyed much of Haiti in January 2010 and left more than 1 million people homeless, the debilitated country struggled to provide food, shelter and clean water to its citizens. In addition, temporary housing camps were overrun with pests including flies, rodents and cockroaches. These pests could spread pathogens and bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella, contaminate food and cause respiratory distress to people with allergies or asthma.

The Haitian government chose the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to protecting public health, food and property from pests, to provide pest management counsel and services in Haiti. The NPMA selected 10 pest control companies to assist in relief efforts, including Orkin.

In May 2010, Frank Meek, Orkin international technical and training director and entomologist, joined the NPMA group that traveled to Haiti to assess conditions. The group found deplorable sanitary conditions throughout the country. Before the trip ended, they outlined priorities for managing the pests that threatened public health in Haiti:

  • Waste/trash management
  • Controlling cockroaches, rodents, flies and mosquitoes
  • Maintaining buildings that had not been destroyed by installing screens on windows and patching holes in walls and ceilings
  • Safe food storage
  • Providing bed netting to people living in tent cities

In addition, NPMA established the Pest Management Pledge: Protecting Public Health in Haiti, a campaign to raise $250,000 to address the priorities for improving sanitary conditions in Haiti and to train Haitian workers to implement effective pest control plans. The ultimate goal of the campaign was to reduce the spread of infectious, pest-related diseases that threaten lives in Haiti. The campaign remains committed to improving living conditions for survivors of the Haitian earthquake.