Rural Haitians Receive Clean Water

September 20, 2016 • Haiti

Life improves for villagers in Haiti far from clean water sources

Joseph Cliford is the water, sanitation, and hygiene program manager in Haiti. He has been working with Samaritan’s Purse since the earthquake in 2010.

Trouin is a mountainous region in the commune of Léogâne, approximately 23 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. There is one main road—unpaved and over rough terrain—that serves the entire population of roughly 10,000 people. There are a number of spring sources in Trouin, but they remain unprotected and difficult to reach.

This situation affects the community members, causing them to contract all kinds of water-related diseases. Most common among those diseases is diarrhea, which kills more than half a million children under 5 every year around the world. It also affects the people mentally because their only water source is also a source of shame due to the fact that they share it with all the animals in the neighborhood.

clean water haiti

An unprotected spring source in Moren

To address the issue of potable water in some of these communities, Samaritan’s Purse implemented a spring protection project that consists of building spring catchment boxes to protect the water sources from external contamination, then piping it to a water storage tank for chlorination, and finally distributing that clean water into the community via distribution kiosks.

Moren is one of these communities in which this project has been implemented. The survey results taken after the spring protection show that fewer children are falling sick with diarrhea and that people are proud of their water situations.

“Before the project was completed in my community, when friends came to visit my family, I usually hid from them my water source location,” said Yolette, a young woman in Moren. “But now when they come, I am so proud to invite them to take a walk with me to my wonderful catchment location.”

The residents in that same community say that before they received visitors in their house, they used to go far to buy enough purified water for the length of the visit, but now the visitors drink the same water that the rest of the households use.

clean water haiti

Community members use the new spring catchment as a place to hold events and hang out.

Additionally, the spring catchment areas turn out to be the favorite place in the communities to organize meetings and parties and to spend time with friends.

“Now I have a place to spend time with my friends at night,” said Germita, an elderly woman from Lebo community. “I will no longer go to sleep early.”

I thank God for providing funds to Samaritan’s Purse to be able to reach these community members and take them out of the situation they were living in.