Ceremony in Pignon Begins National Certification Process
On October 11, 2011, the General Director of Direction National Eau Potable et Assenisman (DINEPA), Gerald Jean-Baptiste, arrived in Pignon to give official recognition to the water management committees that oversee the first 42 community wells that complied with the new government by-laws, rules and regulations that DINEPA created, based on a Haiti Outreach model.
Present for the ceremony and signing process were 2 or 3 representatives from each community’s committee who came from the Pignon, San Raphael and La Viktwa areas, along with Director Jean-Baptiste and Haiti Outreach staff, including President Jeff Brown and Director of Special Projects Neil Van Dine. The wells managed by the committees recognized were all community wells that Haiti Outreach had drilled and community management committees that we trained!
“This is a very special day for Haiti Outreach, the Haitian government and all of the people of these communities,” said Brown. “The national government has just created this standardization program, certifying and officially recognizing that these wells are being managed according to their rules for sustainability and transparency. These wells are the first to be certified and we are very proud of that .”
Neil Van Dine added, “Haiti Outreach has pioneered this effort, developing and perfecting our community well management program and shared the results with the national government. They were impressed with what we have accomplished, and we worked together to finalize their new system that will now be implemented for the whole country. This is a major achievement and is a wonderful pay-off for the many years we have been working toward this goal.”
How It Got Started
DINEPA is a department of the Haitian ministry of public works. In 2010, DINEPA published the Haiti Outreach model as an inspirational guideline for creating and training the community water management committees and wrote a letter recommending that non-profit and for-profit organizations that drill wells use it. The new certification system, called Committee Pointe Eau (CPE) is for individual water points, such as a single well. It is based on 4 principles with which the committees must comply in order to be certified:
- Authority- through DINEPA
- Responsibility- a community based water committee
- Accountability- having a business plan that is followed
- Transparency- being in honest and open communication with the people in the community about what is happening
As DINEPA moves to implement this new process, they will eventually train inspectors to replace the Haiti Outreach inspectors. This will strengthen the government and make these clean water projects more sustainable- moving us that much closer toward our vision of Haiti as a development country!
DINEPA is also working on a similar training and certification process for water systems in small and large towns. We are working with them on these projects, as well as continuing to develop the water systems in Pignon and San Raphael.