Last November, APDAG began to deal with the devastating blow brought upon the community when Hurricane Sandy damaged the water facility in Gran Sous, wiped out family gardens, and destroyed homes. Despite the destruction, the community continued to work together on their previous goal to construct a water tank in the neighboring town of Nan Riske, while preparing to repair the damages from Hurricane Sandy.
As of late February, APDAG has made incredible progress on the tank. With the help of many volunteers in the area, the construction of the Nan Riske collection tank is now complete and is awaiting a water treatment device from Port-au-Prince.
A few years ago, Roots would have sent someone down to help install the purification system, but now APDAG is capable of installing the purification device, batteries, inverter, and solar panels on their own. Once the system is installed, the pipes connected to the gutters of a nearby church will feed rainwater into the tank, providing a new potable source of water for Nan Riske’s residents.
APDAG has shown other signs of progress as they continue to work with an engineer from Concern Worldwide, an Irish international organization, to repair the damage from Hurricane Sandy. When Hurricane Sandy swept over La Gonave back in October, the community incurred serious damage to the Gran Sous water facility, which serves over 10,000 residents in the dry season. Waves of rain poured down the mountainside reaching 2 to 2.5 meters, over the retaining walls built to protect the reservoir and collection tank.
Subsequently, the heavy rains created mudslides that eroded the protective house around the spring allowing it to become contaminated with polluted water. The mudslides also brought large rocks from the mountainside that fell on the exposed piping, disconnecting the spring from the tank. Immediate, but temporary repairs were completed in November to resume the community’s water supply and prevent the spread of deadly diseases.
Thanks to our generous donors and an emergency matching grant from One Day’s Wages, APDAG is prepared to permanently repair the breached protective wall, the shelter protecting the reservoir, and replace the damaged piping. Throughout February and the beginning of March, APDAG and Concern Worldwide have met to finalize their contract and construction plans for the water system in Gran Sous. APDAG hopes to start work on the system in the next few weeks, ensuring access to a life-saving resource for years to come.