Sunday, August 26, 2012

Return to Port au Prince, Haiti

Dear Family & Friends,   
                                                                                                           August 26, 2012

Elder Petersen and I revisited Haiti the week of July 30-August 7, 2012.  Our trip last year did not net us a water project.  We tried a few NGO’s (non-government organizations) and found them to be rather expensive so we had to return to give it another try.  We came back with a couple of possible projects that we’ll be doing mostly ourselves—a lot more clean water for a lot less money.

One happy note: although there are still many tents, there were a lot less than last year—progress is being made after all this time.  We are glad that we will be a small part of this recovery after so devastating an earthquake.  We just hope that the recent hurricane does not have too much of an adverse affect on this already battered country.

Here is a picture display of a few of the things we saw in our travels:

Ladies fetching water from a spring high up the mountain.

I hiked to the top of the mountain to look @ the spring and realized I had to go to the top of another hill.  Below is the city of Port au Prince.

Ladies washing clothes; note the dirty water.

Getting clean water from a hole in the pipeline.

Cabbage & peppers growing.

House being rebuilt.  They have to carry each of their concrete blocks by hand from the bottom of the mountain.

Cost me a cookie to be able to take this girl's picture.

Picture taken from my hotel room.  You can see all the tents along the hillside and some rebuilt houses surrounding them.

You don't have to worry about mowing lawns.  Houses are built all along the hills wherever there is space.

New businesses spring up--water truck delivering water to houses where they store it in 55 gallon drums.

Our project will restore broken waterlines caused by the earthquake.  Many kiosks like this one will be rebuilt where the water can be purchased.  We will build a few new ones too.  This one water project will affect 60,000 people.

Cholera is a big problem and clean water will help, but they lack the knowledge that trash and sewage along the streets and pathways also bring cholera. 

Typical walkway between houses.

Over 6,000 people live in this area with small pathways and no means to dispose of their trash or waste.   The pig seems happy though. 

People waiting to buy water for about 12 cents a 5 gallon bucket.

Narrow pathway between the houses.

Goat stew cooking right next to the trash area with all the germs blowing into the air.

A tented compound along the road.  many still remain after over two years later, but many are now gone and have been relocated to houses.  Approximately 500,000 were living in tents 9 months ago when I was last there.  Recovery is slow but many have now found permanent housing.

Group of ex-BYU students doing humanitarian work in Haiti.  We will try to help them on our next project.