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Completed Safe Drinking Water Supply
Completed Equipment Training and Support Services
Completed Health and Hygiene Training Program
Completed Pump Repair Project
Completed Pump Replacement Projects
Why help Haiti?
Haiti has a tragic history rampant with external political and military interference, natural disasters, and short-sighted international aid projects.
Collectively, these factors have contributed to Haiti being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with many people trapped in a cycle of sickness and poverty. These problems are hundreds of years in the making, and development projects must be sustained over the long-term to help people develop the hope and capacity to get beyond these generational issues.
External political interference
Many of the nation’s problems can be traced back to its roots. In 1804, after 13 years of brutal war, the revolt of Haitian slaves resulted in the first independent ‘black’ state in modern times.
Prior to the revolt, Haiti was the “Jewel of the Caribbean.” However, many of the world's most powerful nations at that time still embraced slavery and so, out of fear that the slave revolt in Haiti would inspire their own slaves to rebel, they stopped trading with Haiti. Overnight, Haiti’s economy collapsed.
France eventually agreed in 1824 to recognize the new Haiti. But only after Haiti reluctantly promised to repay France for its losses (including the value of its slaves) stemming from the revolt. The total value of these reparation payments, $14 billion in today’s currency, have consumed up to 80% of Haiti’s gross domestic product and left the nation in chronic poverty.
Natural disasters (including the 2010 earthquake and cholera epidemic, plus Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, have helped to ensure that more than half of all Haitians remain impoverished.
Many aid initiatives in Haiti have been crisis-driven, short-term, and therefore doomed to fail. For example, Lifewater workers have found hundreds of abandoned water wells drilled by aid groups who are no longer in Haiti. The wells were abandoned because their pumps were no longer working. Lifewater is busy repairing or replacing those pumps.
Lifewater is taking a long-term approach focused on grass-roots level, sustainable development. We train and equip local workers rather than offering handouts.
We do this through Lifewater d’Haiti, a local, non-profit organization that Lifewater Canada helped establish and funds. It is a long-term process to help build the skills to run this small enterprise, manage inventories, prepare and adhere to budgets, engage in preventative maintenance for trucks and equipment, and build strong group leaders within each team.
We are committed to this approach because it is the only way to build the human capital needed to break Haiti’s cycle of poverty and end its dependence on foreign aid.
Lifewater d'Haiti team
Hanania Orelus, Program Manager
Hanania, who has been part of Lifewater since 2011, says: "I enjoy it because we are saving my Haitian brothers and sisters by providing good water."
Edrick Etienne, Driller
"I like giving good and safe water to my Haitian people," says Edrick who has been employed by Lifewater since 2011.
Feden Louis, Pump Repairman
"I enjoy my work because after each pump is fixed, people are always happy and that makes me happy," says Feden who joined Lifewater in 2011.
Homil St. Paul, Driller
A Lifewater team member since 2012, Homil says: "It is always a pleasure to give good water to my people."
Marvin Jean Pierre, Driller
"I very happy to work for Lifewater and helping my brothers and sisters," says Marvin, who joined Lifewater in 2013 and has been part of the drilling crew since 2016.
Richard Joseph, Pump Repair
Richard, a Lifewater team member since 2013, says: "I am happy with my job!"