Providing the population with access to clean water is one of Haiti’s biggest problems, especially in rural areas. In most cases, it is not the availability of water that is the problem, but the distance to travel to obtain it. As Haiti is a very mountainous place, homes are often built at high altitudes, but the water sources are located below, in ravines. In some areas there may be a nearby distribution site, but the water comes at a cost and still is often contaminated and unsafe for consumption.
Just to sustain daily life, women and children in particular must carry jerry cans or five-gallon buckets down the bumpy hills to gather water, and return home carrying the precious liquid on their heads. During periods of drought, the situation becomes even more difficult, as certain sources dry up and the distances to be covered become even greater.
This is the case of the Bisentik 2 community, in the commune of St-Raphaël. Men, women and children lug their cans in search of water that is becoming increasingly scarce every year. This scarcity creates a lot of tension for those who struggle to find access to this essential resource. The 300 or so residents of the area, most of whom are traders or farmers, collect rainwater from their house rooftops or from questionable salty water from a spring.
Haiti Outreach has been working with the community of Bisentik 2, which has completed all the training to receive a well. During their preparation with our animation team, they defined their objectives together, identified the number of families in the community and the number of latrines available, and discerned the location for the installation of the well. In mid-February, they inaugurated a well in their locality, together with DINEPA, Rotary Club and Haiti Outreach. Joseph Witty, a resident and chairman of the community water points committee, expressed satisfaction with the transformation he has seen in his community: “We are very pleased to have taken the initiative to form this committee so that we can have clean water closer to home. Soon we will reach our goal of having a well. It could not be more satisfactory! ”