Building a better world, one community at a time

Les Anglais, Haiti - Water Project

 


Clean Water to a Town Beyond the Highway


Location: Les Anglais, Haiti Haiti Team
Current Scope: Drinking Water Treatment and Supply
Next Meeting: Check the calendar for our next meeting
Status: Monitoring activities to ensure the sustainability of previously implemented chlorinators.
Contact: Larry Magura

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See our mention on the State Department's website in their article,
"Clean Water Means Better Health"

 

Background

Here is a brief chronology of the project and some important facts:
background
In 2008 the Portland Professionals chapter of EWB was contacted by a local church, Our Saviors Lutheran Church (OSLC) in Lake Oswego, OR, to improve drinking water in the community of Les Anglais, at the southwest tip of Haiti. OSLC has been active in this community for over 20 years and noticed that many diseases affecting the residents were the result of unclean drinking water. They introduced us to a local NGO, Passion For Haiti, with whom we have been working ever since. To date, the Haiti program has installed two chlorinators on pre-existing piped water systems and is currently in the monitoring phase, working with the community to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.
•    The town of Les Anglais is on the coast, along the west bank of the Les Anglais river.
•    Prior to Hurricane Hanna in the fall of 2008, the town received piped water from two spring-fed reservoirs, one one each side of the river (Basin Simbi on the west, Caiman on the east). The hurricane severed the Caiman line crossing the river and caused rock slides which damaged the Basin Simbi spring box; resulting in no piped water reaching the town. The Caiman line now only serves the east-bank community of Nan Casse.
•    Two trips in 2009 were devoted to repairing the Basin Simbi line so that water could flow into the reservoir close to town. The final work to clear the line was performed by a team of local plumbers who put to great use the repair skills EWB taught them.
bullets1
bullets2 •    Repeated water quality testing has revealed that both the Basin Simbi and Caiman springs are contaminated with fecal coliform, most likely due to animal waste and a deficit of properly sited latrines.
•    In 2010 EWB installed chlorinators to the Basin Simbi and Caiman reservoirs. We trained local plumbers and chlorinator operators how to operate the system and ensure adequate chlorine levels. Supply of chlorine tablets was guaranteed until April 2012 to give the local water boards sufficient time to organize a stable fee collection mechanism and become fully self-sufficient.
•    EWB has worked with Voice of Haiti and the local Sofitraining organization to provide financial management training to the water boards and give them greater insight into how to effectively manage their infrastructure and finances.
•    Current activities involve building up local capacity to manage the systems, increasing awareness of the importance of treated water, and performing regular follow-ups with the water boards to ensure the systems are working properly.
Based on findings from the March 2008 exploratory trip, the Portland Professional EWB chapter agreed to take on the project, with the first priority identified as implementing some form of water treatment.  The Les Anglais project team consists of engineers with backgrounds in civil, mechanical, environmental, electrical, agricultural, geotechnical, and transportation engineering, as well as public health professionals with backgrounds in water, sanitation and hygiene in international health, nutrition, and evidence-based health policy.  We are always looking for dedicated people to join us! summary

 

Read about the team's progress through the February 2009 Site Assessment