Luckny is a carpenter and father of four who resides in the community of Bwa, located in the commune of Ouanaminthe. He also serves as secretary of the management committee of the Bwa Limen well.
He remembers very well that before the community’s well was repaired four years ago, he and his children had to get up very early in the morning to fetch water from the River. The Sao river was the most common water-source for the community of Bwa, and unfortunately does not contain the cleanest water. The scarcity of water in the river meant that not only was the long walk time-consuming, but filling their buckets and jerry cans was as well. Luckny shared that the long walk was only part of the challenge. “Once I got to the spring,” he said, “I still had to wait hours to collect only a little water.” Individuals in the community say they often saw people fighting over what little there was.
“People also came with very dirty containers, jerry cans to take water.” Jerry cans are vital, but they must be kept clean. This is why the animators at Haiti Outreach teach the importance of cleanliness not only in the well house, but also that water containers be free of germs that could make community members sick.
The Bwa Limen well had been built in 2004, but it had not worked for years. The well rods had become defective, and no one took care of them. As a result, community members either bought packaged drinking water or walked several miles to the river to fill their jerry cans. Fortunately the community decided to invest in having sustainable access closer to home and approached Haiti Outreach to assist with the repair and inauguration of their well in March 2017. The people of Bwa Limen are overjoyed by this improvement, including Luckny who shared, “The water from the Bwa Limen well is much better. It is clearer and this one does not cause diarrhea or waterborne illness. “
Thanks to a reliable safe water source, the well management committee members estimate that this repaired well has reduced the time spent fetching water by up to 70%. All of that time permits community members to do other valuable activities such as attending school and earning income, not to mention the savings of cost and time thanks to illness prevention from water-borne diseases. Indeed, the ripple effects of sustainable access to clean water are vast. This step forward is applauded by all members of the Bwa Limen community.