Access To Clean Water Propels Haitian Quake Recovery Efforts

Water treatment systems save lives and bring hope to thousands.

Ever since a 7.2 temblor shook Haiti’s capital, reducing much of the city to ruins, the ongoing challenges for survivors has included finding clean drinking water. With much of the city still lying in ruins and hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in makeshift housing, safe water remains elusive for some.

Water Treatment Systems

In November 2010, we shared with WordJourney readers the work of a Christian ministry, Water Missions International, whose purpose is supply clean drinking water to Haitians (and others worldwide) through water treatment systems they set up throughout the Port-au-Prince area. Each treatment system supplies enough water to help 5,000 Haitians daily at a cost of less than a penny per person per day (see Water Treatment Ministry Rushes Relief To Haiti).

Water Missions International is making progress in Haiti and now has 156 treatment systems deployed in the Caribbean nation, purifying more than 1.5 million gallons of water each day. Each system is environmentally-friendly and should work for a generation.

Lasting Impact

“Our engineers create smart, but simple, water systems that can be operated by local citizens and will serve communities for the next 20 years or more at a cost of less than a penny per person per day,” said Elsa Paula who, with her husband Julio, co-directs efforts in Haiti for Water Missions International. “The educational and economic impact of these systems on Haitian communities is almost immeasurable and will last for generations.”

Water treatment systems can easily be put into place by hand.

The overall impact on providing Haiti with clean water can be hard to grasp, but with cholera an ever present threat, tens of thousands of lives have likely been saved as a result of water treatment systems being put in place. Indeed, CNN reported on Nov. 22, 2010, that 1,344 Haitians had died from a recent cholera outbreak.[1]

Local Impact

Locally, the work has benefitted many people including a group of 400 hearing-impaired Haitians and their children who live in a camp in central Port-au-Prince, surrounded by other tent cities. Also, Pastor Christmas Adorilas of Ministere Travailleur pour Christ Church has seen how liquid water and living water can make a difference, as he is able to serve his entire community of 2,500 people with a Water Missions International system located in his church yard. These are just a few examples of how providing fresh water has transformed lives of many Haitians physically as well as spiritually.

Nonprofit Water Missions International is based in Charleston, South Carolina, and is made up of engineers, staff and volunteers who help bring clean drinking water solutions to people in 42 developing countries.[2] A U.N. Study confirms that a lack of clean water and adequate sanitation are the top reasons why people become ill following a natural disaster with unclean water killing more people than does war.[3]

Providing fresh water daily preserves thousands of young Haitian lives.


[1] CNN: Death Toll In Haiti Cholera Outbreak Rises To 1,344

[2] Water Missions International: About Us

[3] Environmental News Service: Unclean Water Claims More Lives Than War

Note: Photos and mission information provided by Water Missions International, all rights reserved.

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