When we re-launched our biosand filter program at Project Leogane last summer, we set ourselves an aggressive goal: 250 filters installed in homes throughout Leogane within three months. We’re delighted to have installed our 250th last Wednesday. Despite the best efforts of two hurricanes, countless thunderstorms, broken-down tap-taps and a newborn baby boy (felisitasyon Elivert!), we did it.
So what does 250 filters mean? It means 250 families that were at risk from waterborne illness no longer have to fear the water they drink. Our filters will provide clean drinking water to more than 1,300 people across our region. It means five communities, all of which had previously relied largely on rivers for drinking water, have a better option. It means people no longer have to spend the little earnings they have on water treatment tablets and can instead reinvest in their homes, their health, their businesses and their education. People who could not afford those tablets to begin with no longer need them. We are sharing an understanding of the importance of protection from the dangers of contaminated water, and how biosand filters provide a better option. Communities are being empowered and lives are being improved.
What’s next? All the families who received filters will have five points of follow-up from our staff, who will make sure filters are being used as intended and in a sustainable way. This is an opportunity for us to receive feedback about the program. We’re also continuing to implement our biosand filter community specialist initiative, ensuring each community we’ve installed filters into has at least two local specialists that are trained to handle any issues that arise with the filters after All Hands has left Haiti. Education is one of the program’s highest priorities. With our installations now finished, we’ll make sure 100% of the owners have the knowledge needed to continue to provide themselves and their families with safe, clean drinking water for many years to come.
We would like to thank the biosand filter Team: Paddy, Quinn, Elivert, She-shel, Jude, Job, Belanov, Giraldy, Shella, Duko, Moles, Fatal, Jenny and Kepler. You said you could make it happen, and you did. Dare we say you even made it look fun in the process. Another big thank you to the countless volunteers at Project Leogane, both local and international, that donated their time and energy to the biosand filter program. The results of the program are the results of your hard work. Thank you to the communities of Barriere Jeudi, Village Jasmin, Nan Bassin, Mapou and Belfortune for welcoming us with enthusiasm. Thank you also to all of the people and organizations who donated to the cause – your contributions made this possible. As they say in Haiti, “Bon bagay!”