Dieuline is a community member of Lacaboye, in the commune of Saint-Raphaël. While taking a daily trip to the river with her neighbor to obtain water, she shared, “When the river is flooded, it is no longer possible to get water. We have to wait until the situation is resolved to get water. It can make life difficult. ”
This is the daily reality for her community, where nearly half of the population of the commune of Saint-Raphaël travels over a mile every day to the river. The trip is not only necessary for gathering their drinking water, but also for cooking, washing and hydrating their livestock.
Haiti faces a number of challenges in expanding access to clean water, including the insufficient number of qualified staff and effective institutions. The most common barrier is limited resources.
However, some young people in the country are eager to have a positive impact of change in their communities! These energetic young Haitians desire to see their country move towards development and are happy to volunteer their skills towards that goal. Mr. Fenelus Carol is president of the community water points committee in St-Raphaël. His community is currently undergoing training to receive a well in a few months. He expressed concern about the impact that the fetching of water can have on women and children: “In households without running water, the burden of water is disproportionately on women and children, especially girls. For women, the opportunity costs of collecting water are high and have far-reaching implications. Having to fetch water dramatically reduces the time they can spend with their families and take advantage of looking after their children, doing household chores, or even enjoying themselves.
“For boys and girls alike, collecting water can interfere with their learning, sometimes even preventing them from going to school at all. These realities can harm the health of the whole family. Without access to water at home, even if the water comes from a safe source, the fact that it is transported and stored increases the risk that it will be contaminated with faeces before it is consumed.”
Despite his concerns, Mr. Fenelus Carol did not hide his enthusiasm to continue the training with Haiti Outreach in his community. “This opportunity,” he maintains, “will allow us in a few months to have clean water closer to home. We can better care for our animals and our homes.
“There are hardly words to express how much we appreciate the work of Robenson Lucien, our animator who guided us and who still guides us on the way. We are so happy to be part of this Haiti Outreach program! We hope that sustainable access to drinking water will be an opportunity for everyone in Saint-Raphaël!”