Posted on | July 6, 2012 | 1 Comment
The following is a guest post from 2012 beneficiary Water.org. Nicole Wickenhauser is a Senior Development Manager with the organization.
It’s about a two-hour plane flight from Miami to the capital of Haiti, Port-Au-Prince. In both cities, people wake up with the same needs: a drink of water, a trip to the toilet. How they meet those needs varies dramatically. Nearly half of the people in Haiti don’t have a nearby source of clean water and four out of five don’t have a sanitary toilet.
Men, women and children living in Port-au-Prince gather their water each day by walking to a nearby water tank (filled sporadically by water trucks) and filling up a five-gallon-jug which they then carry back to their homes. This is typically the only water they have for the whole day, for all of their needs: drinking, bathing, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. Often, it’s contaminated. In the surrounding villages where Water.org works, the situation is no better. People walk miles or wait in long lines for unreliable water which is often not safe. Can you imagine facing the impossible choice of giving your thirsty child contaminated water or no water at all?
Lack of clean water impacts everyone, but it affects women and children most of all. Children are the most susceptible to water-related diseases like diarrhea, and women and children bear the primary responsibility for collecting water and for the domestic chores associated with its use.
Here’s a short video of women in Haiti going through their daily balancing act – the physical balancing act of carrying water jugs home on heads, as well as balancing time spent collecting water with time spent working and caring for their families and homes.
Ready access to clean water has so many positive ripple effects. That’s why when a community drills a well, they aren’t just drilling for water. They’re drilling for opportunity: for the opportunity to go to school, for the opportunity to go to work, and for the opportunity to be healthy.
For the past 21 years, Water.org has been working in partnership with people in developing countries to help them meet their own water and sanitation needs. Water.org empowers local communities as invested owners, ensuring that the new, clean water source lasts for generations to come. (More on Water.org’s approach to programs.)
Water.org is thrilled that the Passports with Purpose community is supporting its clean water programs in Haiti this year! The $100,000 goal will enable Water.org to work with communities in Boucan Carre and Mirebalais to build five new wells. Each well will serve an average of 370 people.
To give you an idea of the joy that comes with a new well, here’s a two-minute video of a well inauguration at Haitian community supported by Water.org.
On behalf of the entire Water.org team and those in need of clean water in Haiti, thank you!
Participate in Passports with Purpose 2012 by signing up here.