Haiti is recognised as a water-stressed country, constantly confronting water scarcity issues. Often, some areas of Haiti can go for weeks without any rain, making it extremely difficult for families who find their local water sources drying up.
Even when it does rain, less than 10% of the population is served with piped water, meaning that children often have to miss school to walk miles to collect the water their families need just to get through the day.
To turn this around, we regularly develop new water lines to marginalised communities, which previously had scarce access to the water they need. In 2018, for example, we are working to pump water to a new station in the area of Pointe Est on the island of Île à Vache, where 250 families lack access to clean water; two large water tanks will also be installed to ensure that water can be safely collected and reserved for times of drought. Currently forced to travel long distances to collect water to nourish their land and use in everyday activities, such as for washing, this project will make an enormous difference to each of these families.
This project builds on work completed in 2017, when we developed a new line to pump water to the rural area of Gros Morne on the island, building a large water storage tank nearby which 70 farmers now use to irrigate their land: this improve their crops and increases their harvests, and saves them vast amounts of time and energy as well.
Meanwhile, in 2016, we provided 45 water harvesting units to families on the island, so that they could gather and store rainwater to use in their daily lives. As well as supplying the tanks, we sourced gutters and employed local people to install all of the equipment.
Access to water remains a challenge right across Haiti, but our water harvesting project goes far in supporting this community to overcome it.