Water Station Restoration Completed in Cite Soleil, Haiti's poorest community

October 18, 2015

During the months of August, September and October, we completed restoration of all active Cite Soleil water sites, the poorest community in Haiti's capital. 

Do you like your job? Is it fulfilling? Does it pay the bills? We often take our jobs for granted, so take a moment to think about the average Haitian. Haiti is not an easy place to find work. There are very few resources not nearly enough jobs – 80% of people in Haiti make less than $700 a year. This percentage is much worse in Cite Soleil, the poorest community in Port-au-Prince. Cite Soleil is one of the most misunderstood and neglected communities in Haiti. Most of the residents are families that are stuck in the cycle of poverty in large part because of where they live. Unfortunately, Cite Soleil is known for its gang violence, though this violence does not define the vast majority of the community. Because of this reputation there are many people and institutions that overlook Cite Soleil as they presume any improvements will be short-lived.

But, helping the people of Cite Soleil remains at the heart of International Action’s mission and we will continue to do what we can for the community.

As you might recall, we made plans this year to restore eight of Cite Soleil’s water stations as they had fallen into disrepair due to lack of funds from the Haitian government to fix them. On top of this, a change in the water supply structure in Cite Soleil resulted in a massive increase in the water pressure at all Cite Soleil water stations, causing pipes to break at each one -- some minor and some major.

Between August and October 2015, our staff in Haiti has completed restoration of all active Cite Soleil water sites, including installing water pressure alleviation washers inside the pipes to help mitigate the recent increase in water pressure. Two of the water stations required a complete reinstallation of all main pipes, while six of the stations needed replacement valves and pipe elbows. The water committees running these stations have a tough task ahead of them as they have to reinvigorate the public’s trust in the Cite Soleil water sites, enabling the sites to become the main source of clean, safe water for some of the poorest in Haiti. They are not alone in this as International Action will help. Once people know and trust that the sites are working again the neighborhood will have consistent, long-term access to clean water and there will be people in Cite Soleil that will be able to earn a living running the water stations once again.

As a precaution, International Action will also be monitoring the sites for one year to make sure the upgrades hold up against the increased water pressure.

To do so, we will need your help. We are so close to finishing restoring the sites in Cite Soleil, and we thank you for your continued support.