Bringing in the New Year, we all make resolutions. Our collective resolution has been and will continue to be to help Haiti rebuild communities suffering from the devastating fallout of the 2010 quake. As we’ve mentioned before, another bold individual also going by the name of Chad is working to assist that mission in his own ‘light‘, by making the community of Gran Sous a self-sustaining community utilizing solar technology.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Chad Groshart, talking about his work with Roots of Development. Groshart, an associate and lighting designer for Atelier Ten, an environmental design consultancy, is leading the solar panel project for the community center of Gran Sous.
When Roots of Development Executive Director Chad Bissonnette approached APDAG about incorporating solar panels into their community, APDAG President Stevenson Justin’s jaw dropped. He said, “Of course we’re interested.” Groshart initially wanted to bring light to the schools; however, the community of Gran Sous expressed the need for light in their community center. Today, the community center building is almost complete, and “the roof was done to account for the solar panels,” says Bissonnette.
The panels provide basic power for light, communications, and computers. From the start of the earthquake and indeed from additional devastation caused by the recent hurricane, it has been over a year without electricity for Gran Sous. Clearly this is a fundamental need that the citizenry cannot necessarily expect to be provided by a strapped localized and national government.
Electricity will hopefully make meeting other basic needs as well as more complex issues within the communities more convenient and manageable. In just the next few months, Roots of Development aims to construct more homes, carry out an island wide demographic survey, begin several new entrepreneurial business ventures including a tool rental facility and a concrete block-making business and complete two new major water facility projects.
Best of luck to Chad Groshart in his work to provide the village of Gran Sous with electricity which will greatly compliment our ongoing efforts.