98% deforested, Haiti is vulnerable to climate change-induced drought: Haiti's Northwest received no measurable rainfall between 8/2013 and late 5/2014. Cholera too has gripped Haiti since the earthquake. Girls and women are responsible for gathering water which may take as much as six hours per day. Young girls cannot go to school; women can do little else to help their families.
Water cisterns capture rain during the rainy season, bringing clean water to communities during the long dry season and freeing girls for school, and women to help their families prosper. Each cistern can support up to 90 families, 450 people, during the long dry season, literally freeing up the labor of thousands of girls and women from the daily chore of gathering water. Young girls can go to school; women can engage in other activities to improve the well-being of their families
Families join a cistern by giving $0.10/month to hire a "water management attendant" whose responsibilities include water treatment and cistern maintenance. Built with the financial support of western donors, and by the hearts, heads and hands of the communities that benefit from them, the cisterns are maintained as a life-giving resource long into the future of the communities they benefit. 20 cisterns will be built, each of which supports 90 families. 9,000 individuals stand to benefit.
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