Rural Haiti abounds with fields of bananas, fruit trees and small thatch roofed houses. At first glance, one might think this region seems like a sweet oasis from the hustle and bustle of noisy city life. In many ways, this quiet landscape does permit a nice opportunity to raise a family, cultivate a garden, and live simply. However, there remains one major issue: access to clean water and proper sanitation continues to be a real concern for many of the inhabitants in these small communities far from the cities.
A large part of its population must travel great distances to reach a water point, and even then there is no guarantee that the water is safe for consumption. The national inventory of drinking water infrastructure carried out in 2017 shows that there are significant disparities between and even within the departments. Often rural areas have the least access to a sustainable water source.
Wilton Francois knows all to well the reality of these disparities. This 17-year-old young man from the community Dekle has to collect water every morning for his family before going to school. He used to walk an average of thirty minutes one-way to get water from one of the two wild springs in his community (located in the town of Fort-Liberté, in the North East Department).
Fortunately, a couple of years ago his community decided to invest in having a water well closer to their homes. Thanks to this decision, Wilton is able to fill his water canister each morning directly from the well in front of his house. This investment has dramatically changed his routine, as he now has more time to devote to his studies and help with the family business. Now, it is with a broad smile that Wilton Francois quickly fills his water canister each morning before heading to class.
For the people of Dekle, the construction of this well is a major step forward that will not only permit them more time to engage in other meaningful activities such as work and school, but will also reduce their risk of contracting water-borne diseases. The impacts of this well will be infinite.