WELCOME TO PROJECT 509
We build rainwater harvesting systems in remote mountain communities in Haiti. The communities where we work have no running water, electricity, or road access. Children hike 3-5 hours round trip every day to collect drinking water from streams that are also used to wash clothes, bathe, and water animals; these streams are contaminated, and water borne disease ... such as cholera ... is far too common.
Rainwater harvesting is the best way to improve access to clean drinking water in an area experiencing rapid desertification. They also greatly reduce the amount children have to walk to collect drinking water - which frees more time for them to attend school.
We also coordinate general education programs about clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in local schools ... and during all community meetings we hold.
We have also begun working with local leadership to identify and implement strategies to improve water access for agricultural needs; many of the systems we have built, now supply water for an evolving micro-irrigation strategy, which is showing great promise in stabilizing local agriculture ... another significant need in the area.
All of the work we do is community driven, materials and supplies are purchased locally, and each system we build creates 5-7 local jobs throughout the larger community.
In 2016/17, we built 10 complete systems, and repaired / retrofitted 5 more ... greatly improving regular access to clean water for over 2400 people.
* In Jan/Feb of 2017, we also rebuilt 2 collapsed buildings and 2 roofs that were destroyed during Hurricane Matthew
Please see our ABOUT PAGE for a more detailed description of our history, past accomplishments, and ethos.
Solidarity + Empowerment = Sustainability
RAIN CATCHMENT SYSTEMS
Each rain catchment holds approximately 5000 gallons of harvested rain water. All construction is directed by one of three community members who have undergone training through a (now terminated) UN program for this specific cistern design. Each village where a new cistern is built, provides the hard labor to dig the hole (the most difficult part of the process). Project 509 pays for the materials, skilled labor, and transport of materials and supplies. With input from Project 509, local leadership decides where systems will be located. Each system costs approximately $1,500 to build, monitor, and maintain.