First 5 of 46 Wells Inaugurated!
We are delighted to report about the Rotary Pignon Sustainable Clean Water Access Project. This Project is supported by a major Global Grant from Rotary International and is hosted by the Rotary Club of Pignon, Haiti, which is partnering with the Eden Prairie, Minnesota Noon Club. The Rotary support has not only come from Rotary International, but fundraising was based on donations from 20 Rotary Clubs throughout the U.S. that are located in 7 different districts. The plan is to build 19 new community managed wells and rehabilitate 27 dysfunctional wells; each one includes the creation of a community well management program for sustainability. In addition, all 46 communities will have sanitation and hygiene education and vigorous promotion of a latrine for every household. This is to take place in the commune of Pignon and bring potable water to within 500 meters of the homes of about 90% of the people of this commune, the first commune in Haiti to have such an achievement!
This project, which began in October of 2017, bore fruit with the first 5 well inaugurations in late December! Haiti Outreach Country Director Neil Van Dine had this to say after attending one of the inaugurations:
“Today, I was honored to participate in the inauguration of the “Ba Ti Not” well. This is a particularly poor area of Pignon, tucked away on the other side of the river and fairly isolated.
What I saw today showed me the level of impact we have with every well, far beyond the mere delivery of clean water. Bringing honor, dignity and hope to each community.
The president of the committee stood, starting by saying this is the first time in his life he has worn a suit. That the only reason he was doing so is because of this “beautiful lady” (the well) that had come to their village.
After the president, the committee members stood and spoke, one by one, telling their story of how this day came to be. How they heard about the possibility of having a well, how they crafted and signed their letter, how their inability and frustration in finding an elected official to sign it, led to them carrying it with them for 3 weeks in hopes of finding an official signature.
I learned how disappointed they were when the first borehole was dry. How they searched for another location that might have water.
I heard how they learned about integrity from our team, and the importance of their water point being “FRAPE” (Functional, Responsible, Assenisman (latrines), Potable and Inspected). How they created a budget, how they enrolled their neighbors, the incredible challenges they have faced over the last few months.
They each spoke of how their community had been “dirty” how, when they started, almost no one had a latrine, how they worked to create latrines at every home. How the simple possibility of this well existing gave them hope, hope for a new future for their community. That kids would grow up healthy and strong, able to go to school and be proud. I was inspired by their dignity, vision and effort.”
Congratulations to these 5 communities for working hard and achieving a clean community with potable water that they now will be proudly managing!