Author: Albert Juin, Hygiene Education Coordinator for Haiti
The city of Mirebalais in the Central Plateau region of Haiti is the location of 6 World Water Relief projects. Its current population stands at about 132,000 people. After the earthquake in 2010 the population of Mirebalais grew substantially, as people from Port-au-Prince migrated to safer cities, such as Mirebalais. Now the issue of clean water access has become a problem. The following information is based on a report by Solo, our WWR Hygiene Educator:
In the past the city water office was run by CAMEP and after the earthquake in 2010, DINEPA took over the task of national water and sanitation. In 1998 a large tank was constructed to supply the city with 450m3 or 119,047 gallons of water. Before 2010 it was enough water to supply the population, schools, businesses and government offices. Now it is not and often sites such as some of the public schools are without water for days. In addition, the tank is reportedly cleaned just twice per year and often the quality of the water is very poor.
This information brings to light the importance of World Water Relief’s filtration systems in schools. Even though the quality of water in Mirebalais may be suffering, the quality of the water in the WWR project schools is not because of our 3-step filtration system that takes the city water flowing into each school and filters it into clean, tasty drinking water. All one has to do is look at the difference between a clean filter and a dirty filter to understand the importance of cleaning the city water tank.