The community of Pôle is a bustling rural area filled with farmers who rely on the fruit of the land for their livelihood. The people there live in close proximity with the animals that they tend, often leading them to drink from the same water sources. This can lead to dangerous transmission of water-borne illnesses, and the people of the community have wanted to find an improved water source for a long time.
Milouse Clément is an energetic 17 year-old resident of the community. She attends Ecole Nationale de Pôle, the local high school. Despite her cheerful disposition, she knows all too well the harsh reality of the difficulty of fetching water for her family. Access to quality drinking water has been an obstacle for much of her life. She shared, “You can’t do anything without water. [You need it] for all household chores, laundry, dishes and animals. The river was [over a mile] from my house, and the only source of supply was the storm drains or the Victorin River.”
Milouse is not alone in the struggle for water. Many in the community have spent hours every day just trying to gather it, and even then it was not always clean or safe for consumption. Fortunately, in November 2020 the community of Pôle along with Haiti Outreach, DINEPA, and other partners celebrated the inauguration of a new well for this community. The newly installed hand pump at Pôle allows residents to avoid having to resort to the murky river, which has been such a great source of health problems in the community.
“We have significantly reduced the use of the river,” confirms Milouse. “We are aware of the health problems such as diarrheal diseases, cholera among others, caused by the consumption of this water, which is not always clean. Now with the hand pump [there is] less hassle. “
Water quality measurements were carried out by the Haiti Outreach team and showed that the boreholes drilled for the handpump have accessed safe and potable water.
Elated Milouse Clément declared, “For real! The water in the pump is of better quality [than the river]. It always remains crisp and clear!” Milhouse and the community members of Pole are not only overjoyed by this new addition to their communities, but they are also committed to the long-term management of this well to ensure that they will have access to clean water for generations to come!