Only 51% of rural Haitians have access to a clean water source. We’ve changed that in Gran Sous!
Objective: Provide publicly accessible potable water to the communities surrounding the Gran Sous water source.
Where: Gran Sous, La Gonave, Haiti
Beneficiaries: Over 6,000 residents
Funding Partners: World Vision
Implementation Partners: Engineers: Javier Ordoñez, Jaime Barzallo and Andres Alvarado, and Concern Worldwide
Before there was a “Roots of Development” or an APDAG, Chad Bissonnette traveled to Gran Sous, interested in learning about Haiti. Over the next couple of years, the committee that would become APDAG met and decided to address their lack of access to clean water. Chad and a small network of volunteers back in the U.S. agreed to raise funds for the project.
Community leaders in Gran Sous prepared by testing the water with a government agency, consulting with area doctors, and conducting a water usage survey. Concern Worldwide provided a Haitian engineer and agronomist to survey the land (future construction site). A local branch of World Vision paid for the first water test and a portion of the project materials. And, three engineers traveled from Ecuador to provide technical support during the more complicated phases of construction. The community came to a consensus that the project should only capture part of the water source in order to allow for other uses such as bathing, washing clothes, and providing drinking water to livestock.
The local community’s excitement for the project was evident in the volunteer turn out, with one hundred and fifty residents coming out per day at times. Local schools even coordinated to have older children volunteer and collect rocks for retaining walls. Adults smashed boulders to clear the path for future piping, while others mixed and carried concrete to build the 18,000 liter tank. By August 2008, the project was complete, the water tested once again, and thousands of residents were drinking their first glass of clean water.
In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept through Haiti. Heavy rain battered the Gran Sous water facility, destroying piping and washing away the community gardens nearby. Temporary repairs were conducted one month later. The full cost of repairing damage and building new protective structures is $25,000.