Three years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, ONE DROP is pleased to announce the positive impact of its water access and sanitation project in the Léogâne region, the earthquake's epicentre. In collaboration with OXFAM-Québec and thanks to funding from the Royal Bank of Canada, the ONE DROP Project will positively impact 108,000 men, women and children by October 2013.
Despite Hurricane Sandy passing through the Caribbean recently, efforts in the field continue to significantly improve living conditions for the people of Léogâne thanks to a promising and sustainable approach.
"The Léogâne community and all the Haitian people continue to inspire us with their courage and their resilience. We are proud to be able to contribute to the efforts of the Haitian people in rebuilding their country and improving their living conditions. For three years now, we have watched our actions make a real difference," declared Catherine B. Bachand, Executive Director of ONE DROP.
An in-depth approach to rebuilding
Since 2010, rehabilitation of 1,500 metres of irrigation canals and mass distribution of seeds have allowed for cultivation of about 4,000 hectares of land. Although these reconstruction efforts were hard hit by Sandy passing through, the irrigation systems have nevertheless made it possible to quickly resume agricultural and livestock activities and food production.
The 221 rehabilitated wells and structures built as part of the project weathered the storm.
Indeed, since it opened in March 2012, the Bolloc Water Community Centre (WCC) in Léogâne has provided continuous access to 7,500 litres of potable water each day, for showers and wash houses. 2,000 people a month visit the centre which is powered by a solar energy system. Two new centres will open soon and three others will be built in 2013.
And that is not all. There is still a lot to do and the ONE DROP project plans to eventually improve the lives of 21,650 families. "I don't need to walk down to the river any more. I can wash my kids with clean water close to home. The well keeps us all healthy and safe," explains Marie Fenelon Oriental, a project participant. Thousands of jobs will have been created in the region. The project will not only facilitate access to clean water for thousands of people, but it will also build capacity among the population.
In addition to its technical aspect, Project Haiti emphasizes social art as a tool for promoting awareness and mobilization. Through the multidisciplinary show "Ayiti Pawol Lapli ak Lakansyèl" (Haiti, Words of Rain and Rainbow), created in 2010 by the Atelier TOTO B in collaboration with Le Théâtre des petites lanternes in Sherbrooke, ONE DROP has already raised the awareness of 63,000 spectators from Port-au-Prince and Léogâne about local water issues. The rallying of communities around this type of social art is a significant asset in promoting sustainable changes in behaviour and consequently water conservation.
"The complementary aspects of our intervention have undoubtedly contributed to a positive, enduring impact on the targeted communities in Haiti. Until the project ends in October 2013, we will continue to emphasize our multifaceted approach to facilitate water access in the Léogâne region," explains Danielle Valiquette, Director of International Water Access and Management Programs.
ONE DROP will mark this sad anniversary with a public reading of the show Ayiti Pawol Lapli ak Lankansyel (Haiti, Words of Rain and Rainbow) at 5:00 pm on Saturday January 12, 2013 at the Maison d'Haïti, in Montreal, Canada, jointly with its social art partner Le Théâtre des Petites lanternes.
ONE DROP in Haiti
ONE DROP's Project Haiti, realized in collaboration with Oxfam-Québec, was implemented to support reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the Léogâne community, one of the areas most devastated by the earthquake in January 2010. About 180,000 people live in the intervention areas targeted by the initiative. Through Project Haiti, ONE DROP and Oxfam-Québec are trying to promote community involvement in rebuilding the country, create awareness of water, hygiene and sanitation issues, facilitate access to clean water in sufficient quantities and increase agricultural activity to ensure community survival and generate income.