Water is essential for life. However many people worldwide lack sustainable access to it, and Haiti is no exception. The scarcity of drinking water sources and the lack of sanitation infrastructure in many rural areas have led to life-threatening health problems like cholera and other diseases that claim thousands of lives annually. Additionally, many areas endure severe shortages of water and long periods of drought which are aggravated by climate change and deforestation. These realities have negative consequences on agricultural production which is devastating for the people’s ability to produce food to eat and sell as well as other crucial aspects of life that help societies to flourish.
Most concerning is that people don’t always recognize the value of having sustainably managed clean water. Since generations of Haitians are accustomed to collecting water from the river (despite its lack of cleanliness), it’s easy to perceive this vital resource as being “free.” Often the connection between paying a small fee for clean water and the net benefit in doing so is not evident for these people.
One thing is clear: at Haiti Outreach, we are committed to changing the conversation and helping communities transform their lives and work towards a better future.
In over 20 years of engaging communities we have learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t. We have, through trial and error, come to realize that the true key to success in this work is getting buy-in from the community members themselves. What does that look like? It means that the communities come to us first and take initiative in leading their community to work towards saving for future repairs of the well and how to manage the well daily. It also means that they learn about proper sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent spreading diseases.
In over 20 years of doing this work, we have engaged well over 500 communities, built or refurbished 492 wells, and have helped 262,463 Haitians acquire sustainable access to clean water – for life! While it may be impressive to tout success rates and large numbers of people served, the real success is proven by the people themselves. We continue to monitor our wells past their inauguration to ensure they are still functioning, and to date nearly 90% remain usable by the communities! (See more of our impact here!)
We have made significant progress towards our goal, but there is still a long way to go. And we can’t do it without your support! Please consider making a donation today and know that your generosity will have an impact for generations to come!