Bower Hill Launches a Haiti Solar-Powered Water Purification Project
You are invited to join us in a new Bower Hill mission effort – the installation of a solar-powered water purification unit in Haiti!
Below is an update from the team of BHCC volunteers who participated in a training seminar in preparation for this long-range mission plan.
Well, we’re back from Living Waters for the World (LWW) Clean Water U training in Mississippi. We got a huge amount of information crammed into our heads in the 4 1/2 days we were there and we’re still digesting it all. Darenda and Rick attended the leadership training class. Betsy and Pat attended the health and hygiene training, and Alan and Tim attended the technical course on the installation of the system. We met many inspiring Christians who have already done multiple installations in Haiti and elsewhere and are going back for more!
We now have a much better idea of the task ahead and we are truly excited to get on with it! The Living Waters for the World (livingwatersfortheworld.org/) model is to train volunteers in developing a relationship with a Haitian community for whom they will provide the water purification system and ‘expertise.’ But the Haitians will actually build the unit as well as run and maintain it. In addition to the installation, we will train community leaders in health and hygiene so that they, in turn, can teach the rest of the community. They will learn about germs and disease, when to use their clean water and when to use ‘raw’ water, and about the importance of washing hands, when and how to do it. An ongoing relationship with the community will support the sustainability of the purification system and good health based on clean water and good hygiene habits.
There are currently 43 systems installed in Haiti and the expectation is that there will be 50 by the end of the year. Sixteen of the existing systems are solar powered. Some were damaged in the earthquake but have been repaired. Several have been retrofitted with solar power because electricity was spotty at best before the earthquake and worse afterwards. There is a great Haitian LWW network supporting the volunteer efforts.
While in Mississippi, we heard one story of a US church group that has been supporting an orphanage in Haiti for years. The volunteers drank bottled water while ‘in country,’ but the children, of course, were drinking water from the local source. Some folks from Living Waters for the World came by and tested the water the children were drinking. They found it was full of coliform bacteria! That certainly explained why so many of them suffered from illness. The group supporting the orphanage immediately made plans to attend Clean Water U, to learn how to install a water purification system at the Haitian orphanage so life would be better for ‘their’ children.
The water purification system we will be installing will eliminate parasites that cause diarrhea, which can kill children and debilitate learning because the kids miss school or can’t concentrate due to pain and discomfort. In addition, it will remove bacteria that cause cholera, typhoid and other waterborne diseases. The system will provide safe clean water to drink for 100-300 people!
To get our feet wet, so to speak, and begin to develop some familiarity with Haiti and the process, Rick has committed to joining an experienced group going to Haiti in October. They will be installing a unit at an orphanage and checking out sites for future projects. Another 2-4 people from Bower Hill will attend solar training in Arkansas next May to learn how to install the solar system that will power the water purification unit.
We look forward to working with all of you on Bower Hill’s Haiti Water Project!
Yours in Christ, Alan & Betsy Hohlfelder, Tim & Darenda Lease, Rick & Pat Jacobs
If you have any questions, phone or email: