When Raphael saw a well in a neighboring community, he began to wonder whether his own community of Trois Bois Pin could also have access to clean water. “We get sick from our water. And our children get sick. This is why we need to partner with Haiti Outreach,” says Raphael. “We need to become a clean water community.”
His dream is coming closer to being a reality. On June 2nd, in the shade of trees sheltered from the hot Haitian sun, members of the community met with representatives of Haiti Outreach to further the process of getting a well dug in Trois Bois Pin. As part of the meeting, the community members voted on who would be a part of the committee overseeing the efforts. The five new committee members will now meet twice a week until the well is inaugurated, and they will continue to oversee the well’s maintenance and governance once it is in place.
Maintaining the well will require effort and investment from the entire community. A preliminary budget shows that it will take about 1500 Haitian gourdes a month to keep the well in operation (approximately $23 USD). This amount will be split up among the 56 households served by the well. “The people must take responsibility to keep the well going,” explained Raphael.
One roadblock in the way of becoming a clean-water community is the lack of latrines. While the community served by the new well in Trois Bois Pin includes 56 households and 381 people, only 39 of those households have latrines. This means that the first hurdle to overcome must be to dig latrines for the remaining 17 households.
The community members are anxious to see the well become a reality, and are committed to working together to make it happen. “We walk more than an hour to get our water and even then it is dirty,” explained one community member. “This well will change our lives.”