A filter delivery in the Artibonite

By Ryan McDaniel:

Hey everyone, I’m the new volunteer with Clean Water for Haiti, here for the next year, and this is the story of a typical work day.

I had a chance to explore a part of the Artibonite valley that I had never seen on a filter delivery last week. It was an area called “Ti Dedune,” which has a drastically different climate from everywhere else I’ve been in the valley. The rest of the valley is dominated by rice paddies and rain forest growth but Ti Dedune has an arid micro climate. On the drive in, we passed an outcrop that I can only describe as a forest of cacti. Shade was nearly non existent and standing water was even harder to find. The little water that was there, looked unfit for a pig to bathe in. The roads were dusty and the houses were made of mud and straw. Despite the overwhelming poverty that seemed to loom over the area, everyone seemed upbeat and enjoying their day. And their smiles only got bigger when we started delivering filters. People were ecstatic when they saw us pull up and every time we stopped the truck, we were swarmed with people trying to receive the first filter off of the truck. There were children everywhere I turned, and every time I went to do an installation, there were twenty little faces watching fixedly as I added the sediment layers and checked that the filter was properly working. It was mindboggling to see what a difference the filters were doing for the water that this neighborhood had access to. The water, used for the installation, would go in a ghastly brown color and was coming out clear as any tap I’ve seen in the United States! This was a new experience for me because every other delivery I have done, the water had appeared to be pretty transparent. The filters were so popular that our promoter for the area had enough people lined up for a full delivery the following week. Sometimes it can take some time for the promoter to locate everyone who is receiving a filter at a stop but not that day. People were ready for clean water in their homes.

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