Last month, our construction partners at Build Health International (BHI) started work on a small water filtration unit on campus, adjacent to the 20,000-gallon hospital cistern. The newly completed building houses a filtration unit, which was generously donated by our friends at the GE Foundation, and a sodium hypochlorite generator, donated by Operation Blessing.
HEI/SBH’s WASH coordinator, Lisa Ward, is working closely with BHI and the Fond des Blancs Water Committee to build a direct water line from Dugue, the local protected spring, to the hospital. The Water Improvement Project, as it has been dubbed, is being funded by Food for the Poor and the Kellogg Foundation. Once construction is finished, water will pump from the spring, through an underground pipe installation, and into the hospital’s water treatment unit.
The water line project, slated for completion by Fall 2016, will provide a sufficient amount of water for the hospital’s growing need and will work in tandem with the new filtration building to ensure that SBH has enough clean water to treat all of our patients and provide plenty of clean drinking water for patients, staff, and visitors.
While the direct line will increase water accessibility, the hospital will still use its current sources–three onsite wells and rainwater collection from three buildings on campus—to ensure clean, reliable water all day, every day of the year.
Maintaining hospital water quantity and quality could be, in many cases, a matter of life and death. Ensuring the hospital has a reliable, safe source of water at all times will vastly improve our ability to care for our patients, especially as the number of people coming to the hospital continues to grow. That’s why Bill Gimson, HEI/SBH’s Chief Operations Officer - Haiti Operations, declared the first day of construction on the Water Improvement Project—July 4, 2016—“Water Independence Day at St. Boniface.”