International Action

International Action collaborates with partner groups and local communities in Haiti to build up local capacities in water resource management; raise the public's awareness of water-related health issues; advocate for water-related policies and development priorities that ensure equitable and affordable access to clean water for all; and support community-based water purification and distribution projects.
Feb 5, 2016

Preventing Cholera in Haiti AND Helping Families to Improve Their Access to A Better Income

Lisa, now with a cleaner, closer water supply
Lisa, now with a cleaner, closer water supply

The 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti began in the Artibonite Region (central Haiti), claiming the lives of over 8,000 people since 2010. Cholera spread from the Artibonite throughout Haiti because there is poor access to safe water and sanitation facilities in the region. It is an important region to the people of Haiti because of the river that flows through it and the fertile farmland that surrounds it.

While cholera is still a problem in Haiti, it is no longer the most common cause of waterborne sickness. Diseases caused by protozoa – micro-organisms – are now the biggest challenge in Haiti. In fact, recent studies in 2014 have found that 65% of waterborne caused sickness in Haiti is now from protozoan infections, mainly one called Cryptosporidium (commonly referred to as Crypto).

All of us at International Action want to do what we can to help protect people in Haiti from Crypto, while we continue our efforts to mitigate cholera. And we want to start with the Artibonite Region. To defend the people in the Artibonite Region against Crypto and cholera, we are focused on providing communities in this region with new, safe sources of water – because chlorine is not effective against Crypto. To create new water sources we want to use a simple drill called the Village Drill. With your support, we will be able to purchase several of these drills and fund the construction of many wells in Haiti.

The Village Drill can be run and transported by a crew of six, without needing a truck for transport, making it ideal for the rural areas of the Artibonite Region. When drill repairs are needed, they can be done in Haiti, without needing to be shipped back to the US for replacement parts. Most importantly, the Village Drill can dig a very deep well for only $2,000. Most larger drill rigs would cost $10,000 to do the same.

We want to begin using the Village Drill this summer, in 2016, but we do not want to wait until then to begin. Already, we have begun to create new, safe water sources for the people of the Artibonite Region. There are now new water sources in three separate Artibonite communities. Each are home to roughly 740 families. By the end of 2017, we plan to work with 20 more Artibonite communities, creating similar water supply and treatment projects.

These new projects entail drilling into a clean, safe underground water source using the simple, maneuverable Village Drill. Then, we install a solar or electricity-run pump to bring the clean water to the surface. The water is then pumped into a large 2000-gallon water tank and treated by one of our chlorinators, to protect the water from possible recontamination. These underground water sources are clean because they are purified by natural processes – when water slowly moves through the ground all bacteria, protozoa and viruses are removed.

These new water supply and treatment systems will become essential parts of each community they serve in many ways. The water systems will help improve the health of each family that uses it because they will have better quality water and plenty of it to use for drinking, bathing and hand-washing. Many communities will also use the new water supply to irrigate their fields for crops, improving their access to food and creating a source of income. The new water sources will save people time (mainly women and children) when collecting water because their water source will be much closer to the village center than before.

With your help, we can provide thousands of families in Haiti with permanent access to clean, safe water sources.

Thank you very much for your continued support.

 

Best,

Zach Brehmer

President, Board member

International Action

Jan 29, 2016

First Community-Owned Water Supply Project In Haiti, Helping Over 800 Families, Nearly Finished!

Newly Installed, Long-term Supply of Clean Water
Newly Installed, Long-term Supply of Clean Water

In the Artibonite Region of Haiti, for the first time, we are in the midst of finishing a chlorinator project that we will be able to leave completely in the hands of the Haitian people. We still need your assistance so we can help as many families as possible. Evertime you help in enables us to work with more Haitian communities in creating a long-term, community-owned supply of water! Thank you for all you do.

Please find below information on how and why the projects are community-sustained.

 

Best,

Zach Brehmer

President, Board Member

International Action

 

The Clean Water for the Artibonite Region of Haiti Project —Background

In partnership with Sunrise Rotary (the local Rotary in Haiti) and St. Anne’s church from Hagerstown, Maryland, International Action has installed four chlorinators, water pumps (run on generators), piping systems, and water reservoirs in four communities nearby Dessalines, the center of the Artibonite region of Haiti. For each installation, a water committee of three members has been elected by the communities to operate, maintain and collect the local funds needed to sustain these systems. The most important part about this project is that it allows for a self-sustainable water treatment system after International Action has completed the design and installation. 

Long-term Planning

The ongoing costs associated with the project will be covered completely by the community created funding structure at each of the water stations. For every five gallons of water, people will donate $.01. The amount was changed from $.06 after further community meetings and budgeting allowed for such a reduction. This amount enables the communities to have a clean water program that they can eventually operate on their own, rather than relying on an outside party. The amount chosen allows the chance for an excess of funds of $2,365 for every water station. If the station does not bring in the funds expected, they will still likely break even, which is the main goal. The local Rotary (part of the community) will complete monthly evaluations of each site to see how the sites are functioning and if the fund collection structure is working. International Action will be called in if technical help is needed.

Below are the itemized projections that show the costs in running each water supply and treatment system on a yearly basis. Also shown is the anticipated amount that each local Haitian community has chosen to provide each year, in order to operate and maintain their new water supply.

 

PROJECTIONS:

 

Anticipated yearly operational costs: $4935/system

Anticipated yearly funds from Haitian community: $7,300/system

Excess Funds: $2365/system

 

Funds Donated per year, per system (By local beneficiaries)

 Potential Total Funds Donated

(Total Funds Donated per Day x 365)

$14,600 per year

 

Actual Total Funds Donated:

(Halved to anticipate poor families who cannot pay)

$7,300 per year

     

Anticipated Costs per year, per system

Operational Costs per year:

 

Chlorine Tablets: $225

Generator Fuel: $2,430

Residual Chlorine Test Kits: Donated by IA

Equipment Maintenance: $40

Administration and Staffing: $1,800

 

Replacement Costs (savings needed per year):

 Generator: $200

 Pump: $240

 

Total Costs per year: $4,935

Excess Funds Generated per year: $2,365

 

PROJECTIONS EXPLAINED:

 

Funds Donated – per year, per system

Donated amount for water: 1 US Cent per 5 gallons of water. This price was modified after recent community meetings re-evaluated what was best for the community.

Total Funds Available Each Year:  While every community is slightly different in size, there are seven total water stations that will be operational once the three new water stations are completed.  On average, each station serves 10,000 people (an estimated 2000 families, assuming a family of five). Each family on average uses 10 gallons of water per day (using local information as most laundry in this region is done using surface water – each revenue projection in every International Action project is somewhat different as every Haitian region has different levels of access to other water sources, different community structures and a different purchasing power). This means that on average each water station should receive about $40 a day, or $14,600/year. However, from experience working in many other communities in Haiti, International Action has found that it is best practice to half this number when making projections as many families in Haiti are too poor to pay-in for water. This means that each station will theoretically earn a total of $7,300 each year. The revenue has increased since the previously submitted proposal as it was originally reported that families would continue to use surface water for cooking and dish washing, and only use the potable water from the water stations for drinking water. However, initial reports from the communities in the areas already with functioning water stations show that many families are using the water from the water stations for cooking and dish washing purposes, as well as for drinking water.

 

Operational Costs -- for each system per year

 

·         Chlorine tablets:

20 tablets/month x 12 months = 240 tablets/year

96 tablets cost $90 or $.9375/tablet x 240 = $225/year – the amount of chlorine needed has increased since the last proposal due to the unexpected volume of water consumed for cooking and dish washing purposes (as described above).  In addition, committee members have increased chorine residual concentrations due to concerns about cholera (given that the 2010 cholera epidemic started nearby). This increased-level of chlorine residual is completely safe and the extra costs can be easily covered by the revenue at each water station.

·         Generator Fuel:

Price of diesel as of July 2014: With increased water usage, 2 gallons are needed per day on average at $3.33 US/gallon

$3.33 x 365 days = $2,430/year

*A note on why diesel generators are being used as opposed to sustainable power solutions:

When the project began, International Action was going to use solar powered pumps, instead of pumps that operate using generators which require fossil fuels. The reasoning for this was two-fold: 1) to help ensure the sustainability of the project so the communities did not have to purchase fuel, which is the projects biggest operating expense for every water station and 2) be as environmentally friendly as possible. However, because the water stations were going to be providing water to so many people it was too expensive to provide the solar powered equipment. The communities did not want to use solar powered pumps because they thought they were too complicated to operate and were unsure how to fix them if they were to break. Hand pumps or non-fuel fed mechanical pumps are incompatible with the water treatment systems installed by International Action because they do not provide enough head to pump water to the top of the water tank and through the chlorinator. Usually, International Action installs water systems on pipelines that use gravity to transport the water from a piped system.  This is not an option at these particular sites because there is no piped water system – to create one would be a multi-million dollar project.  The use of diesel powered generators was decided upon by the communities, the local Rotary and International Action due to the availability of diesel in the communities, the ability of the communities to repair the generators or purchase new ones locally, and the savings on initial capital costs.

·         Residual chlorine testing kits:

Donated by International Action

·         Equipment Maintenance:

Pump: no maintenance needed during life expectancy of pump

Generator: The oil will be changed every 100 hours of use, and the spark plugs are only about $1.50 each.  Oil is also very cheap, about $20 a year.  We assumed another $20 will be needed for general maintenance, although will likely not be an issue during the first year of use as the generators are new.

·         Administration:

Each community water station has a committee of three people who are in charge of running the taps at the station, testing water, purchasing and refilling chlorine and generator fuel, maintaining equipment, collection and management of donated funds. The water stations are open five days a week.  There is one water committee member always on duty.  Meetings will be required to discuss chlorine and fuel uses and to check and manage the funds collected from the station. Each committee member will be paid $50 a month. This was changed from $150 by a recent vote from the community leadership, as this will be part-time work and the communities decided to lower the cost to purchase water from the water stations.

($1,800 a year for the entire water committee salary, per system ) 

Replacement Costs

All of the following costs will be put into a reserve managed by the local St. Marc Rotary Club, which is the main supervising entity for the post-implementation phase of The Artibonite Region of Haiti Clean Water Project – PHASE II. 

·         Generator

Life expectancy: 10 years. Replacement cost: $2,000.

Reserve to be built per year: $200/year

·         Pump

Life expectancy: 3 to 4 years due to Calcium carbonate built-up. Cost: Submersible pump: $880. Surface pump: $470.

Reserve to be built per year: about $240/year

Jan 28, 2016

No intestinal parasites for these kids!

Our ongoing partnership with Goals Haiti has allowed them to de-worm 528 kids in 5 villages last month!

GOALS use soccer to engage youth in community work and education to improve quality of life today and develop new leaders for tomorrow

GOALS works with kids and communities in Haiti to improve their quality of life and empower them to make long-term changes. Programs include local teams, health education, and scholarships. They promote sport, health, nutrition, sanitation, gender equality and education.  For more information, please visit their website, www.goalshaiti.org.

We currently have a new shipment of Albendazole pills arriving in Haiti within the next couple of months and we plan on continuing supplying NGOs like GOALS with deworming pills.

International Action is proud to partner with organizations like these that are helping Haiti in a big way. If you know of any groups or organizations that are need of deworming medication please email us at forms@haitiwater.org or fill out a request form at http://haitiwater.org/get-help/albendazole-request-for

Marquise is all smiles!
Marquise is all smiles!
Coach Elbrane lines up his boys team for deworming
Coach Elbrane lines up his boys team for deworming

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