La Petite Place Cruzier / Water is Life
“Access to potable water should be a human right”
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton/Clinton Foundation
Natural disasters, low economic growth, political instability and poor governance have eroded basic public services throughout Haiti, even before the devastating Jan. 12th earthquake. Access to piped water works is generally very limited, only a third of Haiti’s urban and less than a third of its rural poor have access. The Central-Autonome Metropolitian d’Eau (CAMEP) is responsible for providing water in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, yet the water provided is non-potable. The lack of a functional and piped water delivery has resulted in a vibrant ‘other’ water market, at least in urban areas. The 45% of the population in Haiti, living on less than $2.00 per day, have access to water from trucks, bottled water and water by bucket-services typically provided by small, informal vendors or Mafioso/gangs.
The Institute Francoise and Rene de La Serre, (IFRS) is an educational and medical compound located at La Petite Place Cruzier, on the northern plateau of Port-au-Prince. The independent, non-denominational, non-profit NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Institute provides pre-elementary, elementary, and secondary educational opportunities to 3,500 students. The IFRS also services 120 hospital beds and an ‘outpatient’ facility. The Institute daily opens it’s facilities to the local La Petite Place Cruzier residents for an affordable ‘soup kitchen’, typically 3,000 lunched per day, pre-quake. With the relocation of ten of thousands of earthquake survivors, to the La Petite Place Cruzier region, that daily ‘soup kitchen’ and medical facility have become a welcomed relief. At the present the IFSR cannot provide potable water for any of its services and is a proposed site for the ARN Foundation of Haiti’s ‘Water is Life’ program.
The ARN Foundation of Haiti, within its projected goals, is proposing the ‘Water is Life’ program, to provide potable water for 500,000 people in Haiti, annually. The project would include 100 solar water purification units that would be located at primary medical facilities throughout Haiti. Since the water systems will be ‘stand alone’ regarding energy supplies, they will not only supply the daily water supply for the needy to drink but also provide sanitary conditions for the medical staff. It should also be noted that these medical facilities are the first stage providers during emergency situations, as well as, the secure aspects of such facilities. While the medical facilities are the primary focus for the initial ‘Water is Life’ initiative, water cooperatives, schools and universities will also be potential sites.
The ARN Foundation will pre-determine each ‘Water is Life’ site based upon water supply, scale of operations, management skills and security before determining the appropriate water companies to be considered. It is the ARN Foundation’s intent to help initiate a self-sufficient management program at each ‘Water is Life’ site, to enable them to become independent, respocible proprietors of the water systems.
The IFRS and its reciprocal ‘soup kitchen’ offers a valued and secure location for a ‘Water is Life’ program. The ARN will require the management at the IFRS to provide medical and water related records, so as to be able to make qualitative assessments as to the ‘Water is Life’s’ program. With the installation and anticipated success of this La Petite Place Cruzier location, the opportunity to provide clean drinking water will help generate needed revenue for the IFSR, allowing it to develop a sustainable means to further its educational and medical goodwill.