In the southwestern area of the Dominican Republic, along the border with Haiti, are Haitian refugee and sugar cane worker camps called bateyes. There are currently eighteen bateyes along the border, and hundreds more around the country, each housing between 1,500 to 3,500 people. Living conditions for these workers and their families are deplorable. Shelters are sparse and in disrepair, and they are denied many of the primary needs for survival, most importantly clean water for drinking and sanitation needs. Working with our Program Affiliates, World Water Relief is bringing clean water and new hope to the bateyes.
World Water Relief has adopted the ambitious goal of installing water purification systems in ALL eighteen bateyes. We began with a successful installation at Batey 7, where 2,900 men, women and children now have access to clean drinking water. The video below details life in the bateyes, and the beginning of a transformation for Batey 7. In 2012, we are committed to 12 WASH projects in the Dominican Republic which will provide access to almost 15,000 people, mostly children, at their rural schools and communities.
World Water Relief has been working in the central plateau of Haiti since July 2009, with the completion of a clean water project in the rural town of Mirebalais. When the earthquake hit in January 2010, we were prepared to help. With strong in-country contacts, prior experience and emergency-designed portable filtration equipment, World Water Relief was able to mobilize a strong and rapid response to the disaster. As conditions stabilized and the situation turned from emergency to rebuilding, World Water Relief returned to the central plateau region and areas north to concentrate on what it does best – long-term, sustainable development.
Working with the Minister of Education and the Mayor of Mirebalais, a strategic plan was developed to bring water filtration projects to three large schools in the town of Mirebalais soon after the earthquake. Children in these schools were drinking highly-contaminated water and their sanitation facilities were unusable. These were the most important aspect of our clean water school project is our hygiene education courses providing students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to improve their health. With these abilities in hand, students then become agents of change in their community…sparking the beginning of real, generational change.