“The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun.” -Haitian Proverb
Access to clean, safe drinking water is of vital importance to any community.
Communities without this vital resource know especially well.
Can you imagine having to purchase unsafe, untreated water as your primary source of drinking water for you and your family? Many in Haiti have no other choice, and few have access to public wells and springs. They must buy water that makes them sick–or go without. Waterborne diseases account for more than half of the illnesses in the country, and to date, more than 700,000 got ill and 9,000 have died of Cholera since the deadly outbreak in 2010.
Ile de La Tortue, or Latoti, is a small island off the northern coast of the Haitian mainland. It is home to over 60,000 people, most of whom have no access to a clean, safe water supply. Many of the island’s children spend the day collecting water from far away sources, instead of attending school. To make matters worse, the water the children are collecting makes them sick.
In 2010 Bellot Idovia Foundation initiated the Community Water Project, with the mission to work with the local community to develop and maintain permanent, safe water supplies. The project is divided into three phases, giving us the opportunity to address the immediate needs of the community while planning a long-term solution at a grassroots level.
- Address immediate health risks by distributing water filters.
- Educate the community about clean water and the risks of unsafe water via workshops and classes.
- Survey existing well sites and test well water.
- Develop plans to retrofit an existing well site.
- Develop well sites according to plans, covering and protecting open well sites with the help of members of the local community.
- Educate members of the community about maintenance of wells, and development of well sites via classes and training courses.
- Develop plans in cooperation with the local community regarding future plans to distribute water to communities directly
- Establish water containment structure in rural communities.
- Seal wells and install electric pumps powered by solar or wind energy.
- Establish a pipeline delivering water from well sites to rural communities.
More about the water crisis in Haiti