Ever since the 2010 earthquake, the northern Haitian community of La Bruyere is in desperate need of clean water. According to César Cortez, an engineer with HCJB Global Hands, there is overpopulation in La Bruyere due to people migrating from Léogâne, the country’s quake zone, and the two Lifewater wells are not enough to supply water for everyone. Also, the cholera epidemic that swept through Haiti after the earthquake contaminated the river water so that it is not safe to drink.
Since March 10, Cortez and Ecuadorians Francisco and Edison Caiza, whose Andean community benefited years ago through help from HCJB Global Hands, are working alongside Haitians to repair the community’s dilapidated water system. “The Haitians not only showed this week that they are good workers once they know what to do and how to do it,” he said. “But they were also competing to work with the Caizas and learn the techniques used in protecting the spring and fixing the water reservoir.”
Cortez, the Caizas, and La Bruyere residents built a new spring protection catchment unit, and Cortez anticipates that La Bruyere’s residents will finish the first phase of fixing the aging water system later this month by protecting the spring, piping water to a reservoir tank, and getting some feed line and spigots installed. At its eventual completion, the project will serve each home with a water meter and a spigot mounted on a concrete pedestal.
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PHOTOS: (1) La Bruyere, Haiti community members await placement of pipe in a trench . César Cortez (pictured with Edison Caiza in trench) is leading the project and the community has done the work. Photograph by Francisco Caiza, HCJB Global. (2) Francisco Caiza checks elbow pipe fittings of the feed line from a reservoir tank of spring water near La Bruyere, Haiti. He and fellow Ecuadorians, Edison Caiza and César Cortez, are helping the community to establish a consistent clean water supply to every home. Photograph by César Cortez, HCJB Global.