The water system in Pignon, the town where we are based, was built in the 1980’s but never seriously maintained. As a result, it has had many breakdowns and been very dysfunctional. Haiti Outreach, with the aid of student engineers from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, drew up a new plan to substantially change and improve the system.
After the earthquake struck in 2010, part of the post-earthquake plan for the country was to build up the cities and towns outside the capital. Money was allocated for paving the roads for the first time ever in Pignon and the neighboring town of San Raphael, and additional funds were released for putting in the basic part of the Pignon town water system according to our plan. Likewise, we drew up a similar plan for San Raphael, and both were approved.
The water pipe distribution grid consists of 44,000 ft of 2”, 4” and 6” PVC pipe. Since we began in 2010, we have completed 71% of the grid construction. The technical team supervises the installation of the pipe, pressure tests the sections, ensures the trenches are dug to the proper dimensions, and will provide manuals for the operation and maintenance of the system. A temporary kiosk has been installed using the ram pumps and a small cistern to provide some water to the town during construction. Developing a 24-hour system at a well outside of town will expand the water supply. A well house, solar panels, batteries and pump will be installed to provide water to the cistern.
Haiti Outreach is working with the local water committee, which is currently managing the temporary kiosk, to develop a management plan in line with DINEPA, a division of the Ministry of Public Works that deals with clean water and sanitation. The second phase of the project will consist of metered household connections and kiosks.
The San Raphael Water Project started in March of 2011. This project consists of installing a 38,000 ft of PVC pipe, for the distribution grid and supply line. The supply line connects the two springs that will be rehabilitated to the cistern, where a chlorine treatment unit will be installed. The technical team supervises the installation of the pipe; pressure tests the sections, ensures the trenches are dug to the proper dimensions, and will provide manuals for the operation and maintenance of the system. This will allow potable water to be delivered to the household connections (initially 285) and to the 12 kiosks.
Haiti Outreach is working with the local water committee to develop a management plan in line with DINEPA. Haiti Outreach reached 60 % completion of the entire project at the beginning of February. The next phase of the project will be to construct the kiosk and install the household connections.
When completed, these projects should provide clean water to these two communities, affecting about 20,000 people. We are very grateful to Project Engineer Sarah Ocwieja who has been overseeing these two projects and who will be leaving Haiti Outreach soon.