Helping Haiti Day 6: Water Source

HAITI (KTRE) - On Saturday, it was back to Merger for another round of Vacation Bible School.

I went on an adventure with Roger Russell, who's come on the trip to investigate the community's water resources. Russell owns a water well drilling business.

One of the deacons of Pastor Gabriel's house took us on a tour of the village. We saw a couple homes with cisterns. They collected the rainwater off the roof.

We spoke to one man who owned a cistern who explained that he needed a way to pump the water into his home. A lot of residents begin to build cisterns but have to stop due to a lack of funds. Those who are fortunate enough to have a cistern keep a lock on it.

The man also said he didn't know how clean the water is and he wasn't sure how to clean it. He said he normally just pours a couple drops of bleach into it.

The deacon took us down a path about a half-mile long. On the way, I passed several women and children carrying large jugs on their heads.

We came through some brush and found the source: a creek. Water poured from the spring box and into a pool, where men and some young boys were taking a bath. Off to the side, women were washing clothes in large tubs.

Roger showed me how the concrete box had pipes running into it. Those pipes ran up the mountain, where there's a constant water source.

Roger took a sample of the water and is taking it back to East Texas for testing. After that, we'll determine the best course of action. That may be as simple as a tutorial on cleaning the water.

The long-term goal is to drill a well closer to the church. But it won't happen tomorrow. This is a church which we have entered a five-year partnership with and we want to do what's best for the church going forward.

It's very humbling to think about how I can waste water every day just by turning a handle on the sink, while Haitians walk a mile for a jug of it.

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