Building a better world, one community at a time

Ostiones, Haiti WASH Sub-Program

Ostiones WASH Sub-Program

Ostiones, a small fishing community of approximately 225 people located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, suffers from high levels of poverty. One of the main barriers of development within the community is the lack of potable water and basic health and hygiene services.  Community members suffer from increased incidences of avoidable water-born health diseases due to lack of clean water access and sanitation education. Due to lack of a health care facility within the community, illnesses require traveling to an expensive clinic. Due to the community’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, their sources of fresh drinking water are limited due to high salinity of all of the surrounding water sources. The Portland Professionals and ETV envision a phased project that will include creating the following: a year-round, community-run potable water supply and local water board to manage the water source/supply. This will be followed by a village-wide sanitation infrastructure and a water sanitation education program. The community will be involved in all decision-making and will be trained to operate and maintain the system.




In January 2012, the Portland Professionals traveled to Ostiones to assess the need, collect data, and establish a working relationship with the community andETV.  A household health survey was conducted along with community focus groups, asking the community to identify their most pressing needs.  The trip objectives were successful and provided theEWBteam with information to evaluate different alternatives for the most appropriate project to implement in the community.


Implementing the Solution

Ostiones Water Project

Phase I – School Water Tank Rehabilitation

Phase I of the Ostiones Water Project involves rehabilitation of an existing water tank near the OstionesCommunitySchool. The tank was built approximately 10 years ago, but has never been in use because there is no infrastructure in place to route water to the tank. The Portland Professionals determined that putting this existing tank into use, rather than to continue to allow it to degrade, was the most appropriate first project to complete in Ostiones. Rainwater collected from the school roof will be used to fill the tank, which will be routed to various locations at the school site, including handwashing stations, the school kitchen. Phase I was implemented in October – November 2012.  It included construction of a new roof on the school, installation of new gutters to collect and transfer rainwater to the storage tank, installation of a booster pump, pressure tank, and piping to transfer water to the faucets and handwashing station.  The Boeing Corporation ( has provided generous monetary support for completion of Phase I of the Ostiones Water Project.

Click here for slideshow of the fall 2012 implementation trip.





Ostiones Water Project

Phase II – Community Water Supply

Phase II of the Ostiones Water Project will entail providing a clean, sustainable drinking water source to the entire community of Ostiones. During the implementation trip for Phase I, the Portland Professionals collected additional assessment information in order to evaluate alternatives for a preferred solution for Phase II. It will also involve assessment of the Phase I implementation.  Rainfall data, rainwater collection efficiency, and water usage will help with quantifying and planning for a community wide solution.  This phase of the project is in the alternatives analysis stage.



Ostiones Sanitation Project

The Portland State University student chapter is taking the lead role in the Ostiones Sanitation Project, with mentorship and oversight provided by the Portland Professionals. The project is in the design stage, with an assessment trip having been completed in December 2012.

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