Today is the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, and this post puts something other than pain and suffering in perspective. We often hear about Haiti in a negative context, and far too rarely about how full Haiti is of vitality, development, and the desire for health and safety. Poverty-filled images attract sympathy but they don’t help to give a more complete and accurate picture of what Haiti is really like. Enter these water safety photos, which show clean water flowing and being protected by local communities.
The Rural Water Project is the general collective name we give to an initiative started years ago in the Ranquitte region. Our partners there talked often about how water is life and how clean water and access to it, especially during times of cholera infection, would allow baseline standards to be build upon for the community like a foundation.
These were the baselines the Haitians spoke of:
• Providing clean water for communities for personal and agricultural use.
• Putting new roofs on houses and building entirely new houses themselves.
• Providing food for people by way of helping them grow it themselves and not relying on the government to deliver it.
• Offering opportunities in education for kids who couldn’t otherwise afford to go to school.
And that is when our work started. We could have stood behind and for the ideas we had brought to the table, but that’s not how we work. We reframed the mission and focus on One Hundred For Haiti around the Haitian desire to strengthen community from a baseline standard of water, housing, food, and education.
The metal covers you see here are each new, replacements for old or broken covers, on cisterns which have been built around the Ranquitte region to house naturally occurring water flow. Once the cistern fills with water (say, from under a rock or from a stream), the water can be treated with chemicals to kill any potential diseases and thus make it safe to drink.
Each cistern has a cover and lock, and a local person responsible for that cistern’s protection. We have recently upgraded and repaired cisterns across the region like those you see here at:
Pinal (near the Bruis family)
Pinal (near the Flerius family)
Pinal (near the Predeus family)
and at Rose Grande
All of this is made possible through our monthly donors, who we name specifically here as a group because often our posts are about the BIG donor who pays for the attractive looking new roof or house to be built. But the fact is that the month to month donors make so much happen in Ranquitte and these tank repairs and the water flowing in the main image are a perfect example.
More good news to come soon!