In January and March 2009, volunteers worked with hospital staff to complete the installation of the new water well and disinfection system. The well increased the water supply to the hospital by six times. Initial water quality tests indicate that the water is hard (similar to the existing well), and contaminated with high levels of nitrates. The nitrates are probably from the wastewater cesspools located on the hospital grounds. The water can be used for utility purposes, which constitute the greatest demand, but it can not be used as drinking water by infants. Nitrates can interfere with the oxygen carrying capacity of blood in babies. The current plan is to install two distribution systems, one for drinking water and one for utility water.
Project 1007 Update
The Justinian Hospital, the largest public facility in northern Haiti, serves over 700,000 people from Cap Haitien and the surrounding community. Years ago the municipal water system failed, forcing the hospital to rely on its small well and an electric pump that was often idled by power outages. In early 2007, damage to the hospital’s electrical supply limited to well pump to running only when the hospital had enough money to run its diesel generators. Medical staff and patients have lacked water for basic hygiene, and the water they had was often contaminated. Polluted groundwater entered the water distribution system through deteriorated pipes.
Volunteers with Konbit Sante have coordinated support from Global Giving, the United Nations, and Rotary International to improve the water system. The first construction project focused on eliminating a major source of contamination, a deteriorated pipe from the well to the storage tank that passed through a waste pile. In 2006, a team of local workers installed a seamless plastic pipe, encased in concrete. The type of pipe was not readily available in Haiti, so Konbit Sante shipped it along with medical supplies in a container.
Work in the summer of 2008 focused on maximizing the output of the existing well. Volunteers and hospital staff installed a new electrical service for the existing well. The improvements included a backup power supply and equipment that allowed the pump to run on generator and the municipal power supply. Hospital staff were very pleased with the improved supply, but the volume was still inadequate for all the various needs.
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Please click the reports below to read about the water main installation in June 2007 and also future plans for this project including improving the existing well, constructing a new well, improving piping, distribution, and sanitation!
New water main and a well control system are due to arrive in Haiti in March 2007. The main will replace the existing pipe, which runs through a medical waste pipe. The new pipe should eliminate this contamination.
The pump controls will replace the existing system, which requires the operator to manual restart the pump whenever there is a power loss. Cap Haitien has suffered with irregular power, typically having less than 8 hours in the night. If the operator did not return to the hospital to restart the pump, there was no water. The new controls will run the pump whenever there is power and the switch is on.
This work should be completed by June 2007.
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