Drinking water is most commonly collected from streams - where people also bathe, do laundry, and water their animals; this water is almost entirely contaminated with a variety of water borne disease (including cholera), and is unlikely to be filtered or treated before consumption. This process is overwhelmingly carried out by children, who often walk 2-4 hours each day simply to collect water for their families.
A vast improvement is rain water harvesting, where rain water is collected into community cisterns throughout the rainy season (and whenever it rains). Rain water collected into cisterns is much more likely to be filtered or treated, and the more rain catchment systems that are in place, the less community members have to rely on collecting contaminated water from streams. This also greatly improves water access - which means children do not have to spend nearly as much time walking long distances to collect water.
The problem with harvesting rain water in Pays Pourri and Marozeau, is that the few catchment systems already in place were inefficiently designed and built, and are in extreme disrepair. Fortunately, through a program sponsored by MINUSTAH (the UN stabilization mission to Haiti), a few community leaders have learned how to build highly efficient and durable rain catchment systems that can be built throughout each mountain community. Unfortunately, further funding Through MINUSTAH is essentially unavailable to build more of these systems - an invaluable part of improved access to clean drinking water in the area.
We have already secured funding to build one rain catchment system during our May '15 trip. Local leaders have also assembled a list of locations to build more systems that would benefit the most people; our goal is to fund at least two more systems to be built in the area this summer. This is where we need your help! Each system costs $1200 to build; this is a complicated process, far from where materials are procured. Everything must be hauled deep into the mountains via mules, and all construction is done by hand using basic tools.
Old Run Down Systems:
New Improved Systems