About Project 509

Project 509 works in remote mountain communities in Haiti.  We improve access to clean drinking water, by building rain catchment systems, increase education about water borne disease through WASH training, and we distribute essential resources that promote basic sanitation and hygiene.    

It’s a four hour hike to the first villages in Pays Pourri and Marozo the areas where we work; children commonly walk 3-5 hours round trip each day just to carry drinking water home from steams that are almost always contaminated. 

Basic sanitation and hygiene education is incredibly low, and cases of water born disease are far too common … in villages throughout the area, several people die each year just from cholera – an entirely preventable situation.

Whenever possible, we partner with local organizations and community leaders to identify, plan and coordinate operations.  We also engage appropriate research practices to ensure the long-term viability and growth of our efforts. 

By The Numbers ... since 2010:

  • Have worked in 16 different mountain communities throughout Pays Pourri and Marozeau
  • Built 6 rain catchment systems with high capacity cisterns
  • Repaired 3 broken rain catchment systems that already had an adequate cisterns
  • rebuilt 2 buildings and repaired 2 roofs that were destroyed in Hurricane Matthew (2016)
  • Distributed 82 water filters to key village leaders, providing enough clean drinking water for over 4000 people for 5 years
  • Deployed high capacity water filtration systems to 3 schools, providing clean drinking water to over 450 students for 5 years
  • Given 32 presentations on clean water and basic sanitation
  • Trained 7 Haitians to give presentations on Clean Water / Sanitation


2016:  Built 6 rain catchment systems with high capacity cisterns, and repaired 3 additional ones that had an adequate cistern in place ... we also rebuilt / repaired 4 buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

2015:  Built our first rain catchment system, utilizing improved designs and building materials; this has become a cornerstone of our work moving forward

2014:  Formed a group of Haitian experts to engage with local leadership, which has greatly enhanced community trust in our work

2013:  Developed a high capacity water filtration system specifically intended for use in schools; this increases the efficiency of our efforts, and provides improved tracking and accountability of resources

2012:  Markendy Desormeau, one of our Haitian partners, and Jesse Baker were named International Sustainability Fellows at UC at Irvine because of our work

2011:  Assisted with one of the only medical missions to have ever entered into Pays Pourri, providing key insight into community health effects brought on by cholera and other water borne disease – as well as a variety of extended community health issues

2010:  Made our first trip to Haiti in response the cholera epidemic that resulted from the international response to the devastating Earthquake earlier in the year

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