Posted by: calloftheandes | February 28, 2012

Haiti Community Pledges Sweat Equity Toward Clean Water Project

César Cortez talks with people of Le Bruyere community

In a recent visit to Le Bruyere, Haiti, an engineering team from Ecuador measured a spring’s flow, evaluated a leaking reservoir tank and set plans to return for work on a clean water project, according to César Cortez of HCJB Global’s Community Development department. After two prior visits in 2011, Cortez accompanied HCJB Global’s Hermann Schirmacher and Francisco Caiza to the community near Cap Hatien on January 17-23.

Their central aim however, was not as measurable as the flow from a spring or a leak. Relationships with Le Bruyere leaders topped their priorities, as did strengthening ties with project partners Lifewater Canada (Lifewater.ca) and One Mission Society (OMS). OMS considers clean water just one way to offer people holistic ministry as the gospel is shared. Volunteers with Lifewater.ca train and equip the rural poor in both Haiti and Africa.

Francisco Caiza and César Cortez planning with Le Bruyere residents

A clear understanding of responsibilities is foundational, according to Cortez.

“The idea is that they will build the water system so that they create ownership,” he said. “We are there to help them.” He was delighted that Le Bruyere’s leaders had acquired written support (via a signed petition) from community residents. This newest petition reiterated the message of an earlier one: project completion will rely upon community involvement.

“We really were excited about the readiness of these people,” said Schirmacher, finding them anxious to work on rehabilitating a water system established decades ago. “We make sure they understand that it is their project and that it’s not us doing it.”

The same model of community buy-in has seen sustainable clean water systems installed throughout Ecuador. This is where HCJB Global’s Community Development began and where missionary engineer Bruce Rydbeck has worked extensively. “When a community decides that ‘we’re going to do this,’ you’d better not be standing where the trench is going to go,” Rydbeck said. “Or you’re just going to get knocked down!”

A decades old system presently serves just 14 of Le Bruyere’s 300 families. Schirmacher said he anticipates residents grasping the importance of a pricing structure and metered usage to help cover future system maintenance as they work with him, Caiza and Cortez.

Schirmacher said Le Bruyere embraced the pricing structure (including those families now receiving water now at no cost) “but in reality we will know this after we’ve concluded the first phase.” He said he’s confident that what the Haitians have pledged will be carried out.

Interviewed in Quito, Cortez and Schirmacher cited as prayer concerns their safety and security for the next trip to Le Bruyere. They also are praying for continued good working relations among all those involved in the project.

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Just 12 minutes to de board the jet and unload medical supplies to treat people injured in the January 2010 Haitian earthquake . Take 15 minutes to view Haiti Emergency Response 2010 Report. Learn how an HCJB Global Hands team served God by helping Haitians . . . after an 8-minute turnaround time on the Port au Prince airport tarmac.

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Responses

  1. […] an engineer with HCJB Global Hands, returned to Haiti after earlier trips to firm up project logistics and receive assurance that La Bruyere residents were fully backing efforts to rehabilitate the community’s aging water […]


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