The story of the Trou du Nord town water system is a very common one in Haiti. The system was built in 2009 by the government but never really functioned properly. It uses a diesel powered generator to pump water from 3 boreholes (wells) into the city. Because it was not working, DINEPA, the government division of potable water and sanitation, asked Haiti Outreach in 2017 to work with them to intervene and help make it functional. We found there was NO data about the system, no drilling reports, no CAD drawings, nothing.
First, we performed pump tests to find out if the wells were able to produce enough water for the system to operate. We found that they could deliver 100 gallons per minute, which was good. Second we worked with DINEPA to find and repair all leaks, which was an extraordinary 34 in number, 20 of which were large. It turns out that a company installed an electrical grid in 2012, drilled right through many of the pipes, never repaired them and left. So Haiti Outreach helped by furnishing our expertise and some pipe, and DINEPA provided the fuel, labor and fittings. In two months, the system was working, providing water to thousands of people for the first time in many years.
We are now working with DINEPA to create a management system so that the system stays functional and is maintained by DINEPA, making it sustainable.
As part of the 100 Well Project in the Northeast Department that Haiti Outreach began in 2014 and concluded in 2017, Trou du Nord was one of the selected communes where DINEPA suggested we work. In 2014, about 46% of the estimated population of 62,000 people had access to potable water within 500 meters of theirs homes. Today, as a result of our 24 additional community managed wells and the repairs of the town water system, the percentage is up to 81%! Be we are not done yet!
Trou du Nord is part of our 5 Year Plan to bring 6 communes, like counties in the U.S., to 90+% of the population having access to community managed potable water within at least 500 meters of their homes. This, along with our sanitation education and promotion of every household having a latrine, is having a profound impact on the people of rural Haiti, as we continue to help move the government forward to taking increasing responsibility for every person in Haiti having access to potable water and improved sanitation.