For Haiti, clean water is life

Clean water for consumption and irrigation is the goal of a new project sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Service in the mountains of Haiti.

Organized by Catholic nuns to supply fresh and clean water to the community, a pipe will transfer water from higher in the mountains to stone cisterns were it can be stored, before then being piped further down the mountainside to the central community and surrounding fields.

“The place we used to drink water from before, pigs and piglets used to be in that water. All the animals were drinking there, and doing whatever there. Sister Maria saw that, and said if we didn’t have clean water all the children are going to die,” said Ereze Prophétte.

The irrigation systems allow local farmers to have a steady supply of water for their fields and additionally allow local residents to have community gardens and gardens outside their own homes to grow their own food; altogether these efforts work toward restoring the livelihood of the community. For the Dominican Sisters water is a major catalyst for community organizing and change.

“We’ve proposed that there be no people living near or animals kept around the source of the water, this will help keep the water clean. A pipe will carry the water from the source to a cistern, and there will be a purification process before the water is held in the cistern,” said Sr. Maria.

“Farmers will have clean water to protect their families’ lives. The people here will be able to have their own gardens in front of their houses.”

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