Clean Water Changes a Haitian Community

May 16, 2017 • Haiti
Samaritan's Purse made clean water available to villages in Haiti threatened by contaminated sources.
Samaritan's Purse made clean water available to villages in Haiti threatened by contaminated sources.

A remote village is grateful for safe drinking water

Cliford Joseph is the Samaritan’s Purse water, sanitation, and hygiene manager in Haiti.

Trouin is a community in Léogâne, situated in a mountain region about 23 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Many extremely remote areas in Trouin have unprotected spring sources, which are the primary water sources for people in those communities.

Samaritan's Purse staff and families in the village celebrate the new water system.

Samaritan’s Purse staff worked with families in the community to construct the water system.

Ka Lanmi is a remote area in Trouin where people grow a lot of corn. All 500 people in the small village used to rely on one, unprotected spring source. It was polluted and contaminated due to chemicals from nearby gardens and dirty tree leaves. Most people had to walk about a mile and navigate mountain terrain to reach the spring.

After many cholera cases, Ka Lanmi leaders gathered to think about solutions to bringing clean water to their community. They decided to request help from Samaritan’s Purse in protecting the spring. The Samaritan’s Purse water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) team conducted an assessment and decided with the community members to implement a WASH project in the area. This project included a spring catchment box, reservoir, and distribution taps.

Samaritan’s Purse provided construction materials such as cement blocks and trained a committee group on water point management. Samaritan’s Purse also provided discipleship training. Through these trainings, Samaritan’s Purse ensured good management of the water system and project sustainability.

The new water system pipes water from the spring source to the remote village.

Community volunteers and local authorities showed a strong commitment and willingness to work on the project. They transported construction materials, dug pipe trenches, and mixed concrete. The WASH project in Ka Lanmi was completed in three months, and the community now has access to clean water. The water is piped from the spring source to where the majority of the community members live. As a result of the project, the percentage of children younger than 5 with diarrhea has decreased by half in only four months.

During the project’s inauguration, I saw joy on the faces of community members of all ages. Many people, including local authorities, expressed their gratitude to Samaritan’s Purse.

“I never thought I was going to have the opportunity to drink clean water before I died, but now, thanks to Samaritan’s Purse, I am enjoying safe water from my community,” said an older woman present at the inauguration. “Thank you, Samaritan’s Purse.”

Clean water is life; therefore, life has been given to more than 500 people in Ka Lanmi.