Just a Drop launched a special appeal to raise funds to help rebuild Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure following the devastating 2010 earthquake. In September 2011 we completed our first projects in two schools in Haiti:
(i) In the Croix des Missions Ecole Mixte Boisrond Tonnerre, we installed a rainwater harvesting system, collecting rainwater from a large church roof for storage in a large water tank. We also put in a small electric pump and header water tank to distribute water to tap stands by the kitchens and the latrines. In addition, we constructed two new latrine stands – one for boys and one for girls. This project has benefitted 240 children.
(ii) In Demichel College Mixte Boisrond Tonnerre, we put in a similar rainwater harvesting system which collects water from the church roof and feeds it to a large underground water tank. The water is then pumped from this storage tank as required, using a solar driven pump to a header tank for distribution to tap stands. As with the first school, we also put in two new latrine stands. This project has benefitted around 100 children.
The help and support of our partners, Outreach International (OI) and Article 25 (A25) have enabled us to complete both projects successfully on time and on budget. OI have delivered a complementary programme of hygiene education and raised awareness of the importance of clean water and hygiene both to the children and their parents.
The benefits are apparent as revealed by a recent assessment of the projects: the children now have access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities and higher hygiene standards.
2014 – Next Steps
Following the completion of these two schools and a visit to the area in July 2012 by Tim Kingham – our Project Engineer for Haiti – we then considered other options for projects with the remaining funds. This was extremely challenging. Unlike the situation immediately following the earthquake, neither A25 nor OI had funds available for the reconstruction of the building fabric of the schools. The first two schools that we supported were complemented by funds provided by one or both of these organisations in order to complete the rebuilding.
Four possible options were identified and then scrutinised over several months. Finally two were discounted as the buildings were in too poor condition and OI were unsuccessful in their attempts to raise the necessary funding for the rebuilding of them. The remaining two projects were at two schools in Malte Peralte and Hinche in the Central Plateau region, just outside the immediate earthquake disaster zone. They are structurally sound and were considered viable following physical and topographical surveys.
The school has 77 pupils and five staff. There is no water so the school buys water from a neighbour. On the site there is a church, and some basic school buildings and latrines which are in very poor condition. The church building is sound but the classrooms and latrines need to be demolished and reconstructed as they are not safe. The children can be taught in the church whilst the school is being rebuilt.
We are proposing to put in rainwater collection from the church roof and from the roofs of the new school building and new latrine block which will be stored in new tanks located on plinths above ground level. The water can then be drawn directly from the tanks for use without the need for pumping. We will also construct four new latrines and a hand-washing station near to the latrines.
The possibility exists to connect to the public water service should this become reliable in the future and if the need exceeds the rainwater collection and storage capacity.
The school has 70 pupils and four staff. There is no water supply and the children have to fetch water from a river 20 minutes’ walk away which has a history of cholera contamination. There have been a number of cases of cholera in the school, some of which have been fatal. The school doubles up as a church. We are proposing to put in rainwater collection from the roof into storage tanks constructed on plinths above ground level. We will also construct four composting pit latrines and hand washing facilities. Because the rainfall in this area has marked seasonality we will also drill a borehole and fit this with a hand pump to enable the school to have an additional source of water.
Work to date
Tenders were sought in December 2013 by four contractors for the work. After extensive due diligence into all four contractors, one contractor was selected and A25 are in the process of selecting a site supervisor who will oversee the work for the duration of the project – estimated at six months. Work should be complete by the end of October. Tim will visit Haiti towards the end of the year to inspect the projects. We are in current discussions with OI on the ongoing maintenance of all four projects as well as the provision of hygiene training to the schools. To date, OI have developed a sustainability plan and an operation and maintenance manual which is currently being used in the previous two schools and will be applied to the proposed schools.