Haitians are still picking up the pieces of their lives after the January 12th earthquake that devastated the nation. Local churches in Haiti are leading the way in responding to the needs of their communities as organizations and individuals worldwide are giving their time, energy, money and prayers in an effort to walk alongside their sisters and brothers. Following the earthquake, the Haiti Water Project has been working with these churches to assess water needs in their community and damages to HWP water resources.
A classroom at L’Acul de Leogane in October 2009.
Children inside the building learning body parts through song.
In one assessment trip, volunteer and HWP supporter Jason Evoy visited L’Acul de Leogane, in the Carrefour area, which was the epicenter of the quake. “When we arrived, we saw their elementary school had collapsed to rubble,” he said. “Their church building is so damaged that it was unsafe to meet inside. Yet, the HWP well at the church is still providing clean water for anyone in the community. Rather than having to walk to the nearest IDP [Internally Displaced Persons] Camp to wait for hours for a single bottle of water, people can go to the church to easily obtain safe, clean water.” Despite the condition of their buildings, the church’s well remains a source of living water to this devastated area.
The classroom collapsed during the earthquake.
The well is still providing clean drinking water for tasks such as cooking and laundry.
Similar stores are coming from other communities with HWP resources such as Martissant, Marigot, and Cayes Jacmel. They have suffered damage from the quake, but reported their wells remain operational and are still providing clean water to the surrounding areas.
Before the earthquake, Haiti was one of the most water-impoverished nations on the planet. Ninety percent of the country did not have running water, and more than half of the country’s 9 million people did not have access to safe drinking water. After the earthquake, the need for clean water is more pressing than ever.
We are continuously seeing our Haitian brothers and sisters choose to use the earthquake as an opportunity for change and for a renewal of their commitment to reach out in love to their neighbors. Amidst overwhelming conditions, there is much hope for Haiti’s future. Thanks to donors, the Haiti Water Project has provided clean water resources at schools and churches in over 70 communities in Haiti in the last three years. Let’s join together to recommit ourselves to providing opportunities for Haiti’s future to include clean water and reach even more communities in 2010.
One of the ways we can continue to provide clean water resources most effectively is to purchase our own well-drilling equipment. In the past we have contracted this out to other companies, but we are now in a position to expand our efforts. This will allow us to drill wells more efficiently and quickly, which will mean more people with access to clean water. We will also be working to expand the number of schools with biosand filters and to provide hygiene education and cisterns.
Thank you for making it possible for so many in Haiti to have access to clean water. Choose to stay involved and help rebuild Haiti. You can donate funds for equipment that will allow us to drill wells more quickly and cost effectively. Raise awareness among your friends, coworkers, and neighbors and encourage them to get involved. Stay updated through our newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter. Together we can ensure that people in Haiti have what we can’t imagine living without–clean water.