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The Haiti Project

May 7, 2010

I just thought you might like to know something about the water need in Haiti. This article tell us about the water issues there and will help explain why our mission trip in two weeks will be building a cistern in the town of Baie d’Orange.

Please pray for the successful completion of our mission team and for the well-being of the team, but most of all pray for the people of Haiti which are the poorest people in the western hemisphere. They have little hope of recovering from the earthquake without the help of the rest of the world including us.

Clean Water in Haiti Giving Hope to the Thirsty

This Mother’s Day, families in Bellanger, Haiti are not only celebrating the lives of women they know, but also a new life-giving well providing clean water to the entire community located north of Port-au-Prince. The Haiti Water Project, a ministry of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, recently visited the town to find that their only source of water, a hand-dug well, had stopped producing water after the earthquake. Since then, residents have been forced to purchase water for drinking — when they can afford it.

It is not hard to understand why one in eight children will not reach his or her fifth birthday in Haiti. Since water is so expensive, children, usually the ones responsible for the task of retrieving water, must find water for activities like bathing in a nearby stream. This stream is also where trash gets washed to and where cattle are watered. Contaminates easily find their way into children’s little bodies which have not yet had the opportunity to build a strong immune system.

Pastor Lamartine of the Bellanger Church of the Nazarene explained what a well means for these children and their families in the community: “We really need a well — people are thirsty. If they were not paying for water, they could pay for school or food.” Thanks to this well, parents no longer have to choose between paying for clean water or paying for their children’s education.

And Bellanger is not the only community receiving clean water resources through the Haiti Water Project. Pont Rouge sits on the coast in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and has been deeply impacted by the earthquake. Many members of the Pont Rouge Church of the Nazarene lost their homes, and dozens are now staying under tarps in the churchyard. The Haiti Water Project has determined that since the church property sits so close to salt water, a well is not feasible and a cistern is the best fit.

Pastor Ilfrid of the Nazarene church has a desire to compassionately reach out to his congregation and community who are in need of clean water. Now, as they are working to construct a new building, they are also building a large cistern that will allow the church to meet the needs of those around them.

“Sometimes we have been able to buy five-gallon bottles of water to distribute water from, but we cannot always do this,” he explained. “It is difficult to find water on some days. People have to wait if a water truck does not come. They might have to wait hours, they might have to wait a day.”

The Pont Rouge church, which also doubles as a school for 125 children, no longer has to wait on trucks carrying small amounts of water to share clean water with others, but can do so daily out of their cistern. Classes recently resumed and this cistern will give students access to clean water each day while they are at school.

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