As many of you know, Roots of Development was born around its first project in Haiti in 2007, the Gran Sous Water Facility. The project was chosen by the community because clean, safe water was not readily available any other way. When the project was completed it featured several water faucets for multipurposed use. For five years, the facility served its purpose and remained sustainable, maintained by the community in La Gonave until Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.
The response to the state of emergency created by Hurricane Sandy was swift. The first step was to make immediate, short term repairs to the Gran Sous Water Facility. Roots of Development and APDAG partnered with Concern Worldwide, an Irish humanitarian organization, to assess the damage and develop a plan for repairs. During the assessment process, the potential for improvements and expansions to the water faucets was recognized by all parties. Thanks to all the support we received from our friends and supporters, these improvements were possible, and the group set out to expand the water facility to meet a host of multi-purpose needs.
The improved facility features higher retaining walls, a staircase for easier access to the facility, multiple laundry washing areas with seating and drainage, two enclosed individual shower stalls, new fencing, gates and an enclosed valve system to protect access to the water supply, an underground pipeline from the source, and a separated water trough for animals. Creating these new spaces with
specific allotted purposes (shower, laundry, animals) helps to manage water use for improved cleanliness and purity. The primary purpose for this water facility is to provide access to clean safe drinking water to community members, and separating the spaces for washing and animal’s drinking helps to protect the integrity of the water facility. APDAG is conducting training so that the community knows how to use the water facility properly as well as delegating cleaning and maintenance responsibilities. This comprehensive expansion was finalized at a critical time, as there have been recent reports of illness and fatalities due to a cholera outbreak in nearby villages. This water facility continues to keep residents of Gran Sous and nearby communities healthy and safe.
This is an exciting accomplishment for Roots of Development and our community partners, APDAG who managed this process. The completion of an effort like this is not just about meeting a deadline or even the completion of a structure. This project was originally identified as a prominent need in the community bythe community and its construction developed useful skills in community members even as it improves quality of life, water security, and health. The best part is, this expanded water facility is a sustainable resource to the community because community representatives were the primary managers throughout this process, and they have the capacity and skill set to maintain it. Just one more example of how Roots of Development works to foster development without dependency with our community partners! Check out these photos to see the new expansions and improvements to the water facility!