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07/25/2013

Inauguration of water tank and 2 kiosks in Jeanty (Grand Goave)

Funded by the ministry of foreign affairs of Japan, the current project JEN Haiti is implementing is once again in the water sector.

In close collaboration with DINEPA (national directorate for water and sanitation) JEN is establishing water management committees (WMCs) in rural areas while renovating or/and building new water facilities.

The first construction site completed is Jeanty where the official inauguration took place on June 30th with a large participation of the population.

Logistically supported by JEN and prepared by the members of the WMC and the hygiene promotion volunteer team of the locality the ceremony did last 5 hours starting with an official presentation of the members of the WMC and the concept of self-management of water distribution in within the community.

Focus has of course been put on the necessity for all the households to pay the fair monthly subscription fee (which represents less than 1 US Dollar a month) in order to ensure sustainability of constant water distribution in the community.

Actually Jeanty already had an electric water pump given by another INGO in 2010 but no clean and secure environment for distribution and no storage capacity which represented a really big problem as electricity is distributed quite randomly and irregularly in Haiti (Usually a few hours per day minimum).

With a water tank capacity of 60,000 litres for 154 household it is now a potential reserve of 390 litres per family available if for any reason electricity should be missing for several days.
In addition the construction of 2 kiosks with chlorination system guaranty drinkable water and much less waiting time than previously.

[Water tank on the right and nearby kiosk officially inaugurated]
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“DLO SE LAVI!” (Water is life!) is probably the most repeated message in Haiti.
True enough but… CLEAN water only is life!
And clean water from the kiosks can be contaminated later on if users don’t respect proper hygienic behaviour.
Therefore a very long part of the ceremony is articulated around hygiene knowledge through quiz, games and small theatre plays.

Managed by the volunteers previously trained by JEN staff and organized in music all these ludic activities allow the active participants to win a small hygiene kit composed of soap, toilet paper, tooth brush and paste, etc. As usual children were the most enthusiastic, which correspond perfectly to JEN targeted population as children do represent future and are quite often the ones contaminating the water of the family by dipping unwashed hands in the family bucket.

Now that the construction has been completed and inaugurated the most challenging starts for the water management committee members. Will they be able to collect the subscription fee regularly and so be able to repair the network when needed?

Will Haiti be hit by a hurricane so soon that money collected won’t be enough?
Today nobody can answer these questions unfortunately.

What’s sure is that JEN staff will keep supporting and helping the WMC members until the end of the project in October and hopefully much longer.

[Hygiene promotor volunteers in short play about cholera]
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July 25, 2013 in Haiti |