Haiti HANWASH Water Project: It’s Cool to be a Pilot Project!
Oct 18, 2021
Our work with Haiti HANWASH has been busy as we still meet twice per week with various committees, including people in Haiti and the US. While we await the response to our Global Grant which we resubmitted in July, we are making great strides in our role as a “pilot project” partner. We were the 2nd of now 7 pilot projects and are working with other leaders to create procedures, templates, and approaches to communications, training, and project management. We are defining community and Rotary liaison roles, and developing stronger connections with our partners in Haiti. For example, we now have standard MOU (memorandum of understanding) forms and training outlines (for those who will be working with the water system). The HANWASH group has outlined specific roles for individuals in Districts that become “Champions” for future HANWASH pilot areas. This will assist champion districts in setting up their own HANWASH committees.
At a higher level, we are helping with the organizational development of HANWASH, including how it interacts with Champion Districts and with Haitian partners. We have learned that working with mid-level management in the Haitian water department is advantageous when there are drastic changes in the country’s leadership, and where those mid-level people remain in their positions.
The HANWASH program also includes many measurable and sustainable aspects such as the mWater online data management site which allows the water management entities to upload all data relating to all water systems that exist and that will be built. Statistics such as number of households in an area or areas that lack potable water are recorded on this site. If a leak is detected in an existing system, that is recorded on mWater under the location. Anyone can have access to this data and it is valuable when we create global grant projects. Visit https://www.mwater.co/ to learn more.
The bottom line is that we are working on our own project – The Ferrier Water System, while also working on the larger HANWASH program. This is a huge step up from relief (immediate aid) and from individual projects (where learning happens one at a time). We are creating "scalability" (i.e., by being one of the early pilot projects, we are helping to create tools that will be useful for other WASH projects, both in Haiti and elsewhere). Rotary International is planning to create more emphasis on programs (versus projects), and this means we are in alignment with that goal.
On behalf of Carin and Sherry, we welcome your support. We all thank the many clubs who have committed to this project. If you would like more information or a presentation, please reach out to Carin Smith, RC of Wenatchee or Sherry Chamberlain, RC of Kamloops West or visit the Facebook HANWASH.