In a nation where nearly half of the population is deprived of clean water, our staff refuses to sleep on its laurels. “Our dream is to see the entire Haitian population have access to quality water”, exclaimed one of our animators*. He remains confident that we are on the right track because the communities that Haiti Outreach engages have really begun to act differently and take on the responsibility to manage and care for their well for years to come.
This past month, our field supervisors and DINEPA* attended inaugurations for ten wells in the communes of Pignon, Ouanaminthe and Trou du Nord; 3 of the 7 communes where we have focused our 5-year plan since 2017. Eight of the wells were in Ouanaminthe, 1 in Pignon and 1 in Trou du Nord.
In Wo Mari Bawo, located in Ouanaminthe, the need for access to potable water is palpable and this intervention is timely. Chrislaine, a community member and mother of three children, shared that, “It was a real headache for us to find water for consumption. We have fought hard for water in the community, and despite our different manifestations, the state authorities have always turned a deaf ear to our requests. We are very grateful to the employees of Haiti Outreach and wish them future success in their work.” The local residents are enthusiastic about it, even if at the same time they have other concerns.
The integration of our Community Management Model has been developed mainly through trial and error over the years. Nevertheless, the ripple effects of this work have been vast! Not only has this model created a method for the communities to retain their well for years to come, but it has empowered the people to see what they can do when they come together towards a common goal!
Indeed, Haiti Outreach has had a significant impact on not only the communities that our employees have engaged, but also in the lives of the local government authorities. Exhibiting a proud air of determination, Mr. Thimothé, one of the DINEPA field supervisors, shared during the opening ceremony, “We are simply trying to make the difference, and Haiti Outreach sets a great example that promotes long-term development for the communities.” He added that the inhabitants used to dig small holes in the river banks to find the best water they could. He said during the inauguration that the best way they could show their appreciation to Haiti Outreach would be to manage their well on a day-to-day basis.
During the ceremony, Haiti Outreach Field Supervisor Mr. Kirinus affirmed the value of the community’s efforts. He said, “You all know that our concern is not only to give you access to quality water, but also to commit yourself to being self-sufficient in order to ensure sustained management of your wells.” He understands that clean water is not the only problem to solve in Haiti, but this is a vital starting point towards a more developed Haiti.
*Animators – employed by Haiti Outreach to lead community trainings on management of their well and proper sanitation
*DINEPA – the National Water Authorities in Haiti