Another projects that Jeff has been making slow progress on during our stay in Haiti is getting engaged with Living Waters for the World.
This is a Prebyterian Church-based organization that partners with US churches and local operating groups mostly in Latin America to produce clean water for their communities.
Living Waters, or LWW as they call themselves, are quite active in Haiti, including at a location just up the Jacmel Road from the guesthouse. One of their installations is well-known to us, at the Blanchard Clinic compound in Port-au-Prince.
Usually a US church picks a Haitian organization that wants to build and run a clean water facility. The church gets training for its members at “Living Water U” and then sends them as a mission team to Haiti to train the local partners.
In FHM’s case, donors have already given FHM money to build a clean water facility for the community and the Leogane Family Health Center.
So far, FHM has dug a well. This wasn’t entirely straightforward – a second well had to be dug before reasonably clean water was reached. And one of the projects that Jeff has done while at the guesthouse is cleaning out faucets that collected small rocks and sand when the well water wasn’t very clear.
FHM then approached Living Waters to get on their list for an installation. Because we’re not fitting their usual model, and because their personnel in Haiti has been changing, it’s taken us a while to get connected.
However, this week, a Living Waters staff member came by to test the water from our well, and we’re hoping to get the results on Friday.
Then we’ll have to get a building constructed to house the water project.
Water will be pumped from the new well to the roof of the even newer building to a 300 gallon tank. Using filtration, microfiltration and ozone treatment, local technicians can treat a tank in about an hour. Then local people line up with their containers, paying a small price per 5-gallons for their clean water.
Currently we buy water for the guesthouse at 30 gourdes per 5-gallon container, or about 75 cents, delivered by a water truck that fills our 14 containers every 10 days. So that’s the price to beat.
An amusing side note for those of you who have stayed at Matthew 25 House in Port-au-Prince – Remember the Titantic theme song played there early in the morning as the water truck came by? Perhaps we can come up with our own water song for the Leogane Family Health Center?
Living Waters estimates that an initiating partner needs about $25,000 to construct and equip the water treatment building, train people in the US, travel to Haiti to train the local operating partner, maintain the equipment, and pay two Haitian technicians to run the facility.
Seems like this is a pretty cool project for a group like our Sunday School class at church. Who knows, maybe we’ll be back in Haiti with Living Waters for the World?