A few months ago, women started gathering basic materials, small rocks and sandy soil and a committee of local managers began the purchasing of cement, iron for grids, blocks and PVC piping for the construction of ten more cisterns underway. I noted the involvement of women, since they are the initiators of the project, as a response to the extended drought in the northeast of Haiti.
This project which initiated last year is in its second phase. The residents of Lakoma have worked with Pro Consult, the engineering group, to complete the first ten cisterns. This phase is focused on the completion of 10 cisterns in Dityet. At the end of the month, we will have a total of 20 completed cisterns gathering thousands of gallons of water as the rain begins to fall.
People in Dityet are relieved and excited. I was talking to Marguerite, one of the women from the area of Jean Rabel where Dydiet is located, and her is what she said: "In our meetings, women are talking about saving." I asked in what way? She said "it saved the strength of women and girls who were carrying the water before the cisterns were built. Another thing is protection. The water we maintain in the cisterns is treated. As the rainy season begins, the rate of cholera is already increasing. So, treated water protects the most vulnerable, the elderly and the young ones."
She also added one element that did not occur readily to me. She said that pregnant women are especially protected with the addition of the cisterns. The vulnerability of the babies to Diahrea and other gastrointestinal issues, like worms, are greatly reduced.
I am elated, and you should be too, for having an active part in these changes. Having clean water and access are only two of the outcomes that are desirable but the impact over time will be a critical element for us to assess.
I am in Haiti and I am happy to have had internet access long enough to upload this report. Yesterday there was a conference for the students in school. It speaks to climate change, a world phenomenon. The drought is one aspect of growing concern in Haiti and now there is a projection of greater food insecurity as the drought continues to intensify, meaning longer dry periods. The cisterns are one aspect of the solution.
Thank you so much for your participation in making these 20 cisterns a reality. Ten more to go!.
Time passes quickly. It seems that it was just a few days ago I was asking you to support the cistern to give life to those families facing drought in Jean rabel!
We are progressing to meet our goal as we are framing the contracts for the construction of the next set of ten.
I met Sonia no further than 20 feet from one of the 4500 gallon cisterns. She is much older than the women present in the open air meeting with our delegation of visitors. She decided to tell us her story. She started with a long statement on her gratefulness, and I was waiting to hear her since she is of the age when she can no longer tend to the goats and till her own soil. "I am old, too old to fetch water" She said "but I live so close to the cistern that I can wait and ask any of the neighbors or any of their children to pull me a pail of water." "They do it willingly," she continues. "When I think of the trip up the mountain to fetch water, how would I have survived without the cisterns? So I am so grateful. I have four children, you know, but the harshness of living has compelled them to go away to look for work to survive. Now I have no one near. Thank you for giving me water and for those who help me, thank you." She relayed this with so much passion that we were all in tears.
Thank you so much for assisting us in availing life-giving water to Sonia and thousands of others like her. Thanks to your generosity, we are able to add 10 more cisterns that will be constructed by the end of Spring!
The Lambi Fund coordinates visiting delegations where donors, supporters and advocates spend time with beneficiaries to share their life experiences and learn from their diligence and devotion to create change in their respective communities. We hope you will join us in the field in the future.
I look forward to reporting the completion of the cisterns before the fall of 2015.
On November 27th 2014, the leadership of the grassroots organization receiving the cisternsin the northwest region of Jean rabel, met to contract the start up of the cistern project. Two women, Marceline and Erzulia, and one man, Joseph, met to review the contract, their contributions in rocks and stones, labor, the preparation of the road for the delivery of the materials and the purchasing list for the construction.
This committee represented each of the localities benefitting from the cisterns: Dityet, Lakoma and Mawotye.
The local contribution is as follows: gathering of fine sand for mortar, breaking pebbles in 12 cubic meter pieces per cistern for the mortar, assuring access for cement and other material delivery, transporting material to sites; working with the engineers and identified trainees for management of the water system.
There are already some positive outcomes from the time that the cisterns were announced. In the form of a konbit, a community's most reknowned workgroup format, the residents have gathered and mended the roads so that the materials can arrive. These localities are removed and road access is difficult at best. They have been working to make the ditches more passable so that the trucks could reach further in order to deliver. In cases of inaccessible paasageways, the residents will carry the materials to the sites.
The Lambi Fund has contracted the firm Pro Consult to build the cisterns. At the initial preparations, the training is availed to local residents. Each training is delivered to a minimum of 30 persons and will address the collection, treatment and maintenance of the cisterns.
This begins an exciting year for Jean Rabel and its localities where the hope for water and improved life has become a reality due to your initial gift. You gift has inspired 113 people and 5 foundations to give $93,818.50 which we have received to complete this project in turn we will "Give Water and Give Life" to 7,500 people.
Thank you for making this project possible!
Have a healthy and Happy Holiday season!
In July, Global Giving gave the Lambi Fund and its partners a unique opportunity to launch a campaign to "Give water, Give life" to a drought ridden area of northwest Haiti. We worked in earnest to share the challenge with you and our network of support. You responded and today we are on our way to build the cisterns in Dityet, Lakoma and Mawotye. I am going to keep you abreast every step of the way.
The excitement in Didyet is overwhelming such that the women have met twice and have begun to define their roles and contribution in the construction of the cisterns. They have set the criteria for identification of the site with careful consultation with the engineers. Volunteers are gathering to collect all the rocks needed for the foundation and volunteers are on standby to begin working with the engineers. The Lambi Fund has retained ProConsult for the development of the cisterns.
The collective response to partake in this campaign is our impetus to meet the challenge ahead. 4 foundations added $10,000.00 each to our one-day funding and individual gifts have helped us reach over 60% of our current goal of $88,060.00.
The contribution from the localities are volunteers in time, talents, rocks and sand, transportation of materials, wood, cement and water. The transportation of materials is important since the localities are difficult to reach. They are not at proximity to main roads and are often destroyed during the torrential rainfall during hurricane season.
The participation is led by initial training that will preceed the actual construction. Training in cleaning and maintaining the water is a critical element and there is a broad selection of organizational members who will be trained to maintain the cisterns.
Ground breaking is expected to be set for October 2014!
Because you have responded and shared with us in a special gift, we are on the way to giving water and life to our partners and their families. We are ever so grateful.
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