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02/28/2013

GOMAN, a place where difficult access rhymes with success!

Located 200m above sea level, the small community of GOMAN (Commune of grand Goave) has a million dollar view on the sea to offer to anybody who’s willing to leave national road number two and attack the climb!

The road starts in the mud before turning really fast into a mix between a dirt track and a river bed covered by rocks on extremely steep stretches.

The first time JEN tried to visit this community the car couldn’t make it, the team finishing by foot…

Arrived finally on the hill top the team was welcomed by inhabitants surprised and happy to see a little bunch of humanitarian workers arriving sweating in their locality.

After a quick introduction of JEN project to the local characters of the community we got invited for a new walk, downhill this time, in order to have a look on the only water source in the area.

30 minutes! 30 minutes climbing down a hill known as “Bouda Chita”, literally “Bottom seated”, trying every second step not to fall!

Arrived quite deep in what looks like a smaller version of a canyon we heard and saw the water! A small water fall with an impossible dangerous rocky access, some broken pipes here and there and downstream a group of people washing clothes, bathing or collecting water, sharing in addition the place with animals drinking!!!

The broken pipes made us think people had tried already to organize themselves regarding water issues, which was fast confirmed with the explanation given by the alder in the village.

After the regular process of assessment and survey GOMAN came of course as a location in which JEN should work. The need was extreme, this population is extremely vulnerable and quite isolated even though road national two is visible far downhill.

No use to precise the work has been particularly difficult for the construction team as items such as tools, iron or cement had to be transported all the way to the water source.

Sometimes partially by car or truck but mostly by motorbikes, manpower or donkeys!
Work on the track has been needed and the population fixed it!

San became an issue? The population started excavating directly in the mountain!

The enthusiasm, participation and involvement of the community have been also really important in the activities of hygiene promotion and definition and establishment of concept of WMC (water management committee) as the entire population could see how much improvement in their everyday life the project would bring!

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I recall the visit organized later while JPF monitoring mission was in Haiti. All hygiene promoters and WMC members were present, proud to wear their tee shirts and explain how life had become better since they had a water reservoir and a safe kiosk!

February 28, 2013 in Haiti |