Like 884 million people worldwide, the majority of Haitians lack the means to provide safe water for their families.
Thanks to Grundfos, however, this is no longer the case for the 4,900 villagers of Dauphine and Rossignol.
In June, Grundfos hosted the Kansas City Walk for Water in support of Water Missions International (WMI), a non-profit committed to fighting the global water crisis. Joining together with the Kansas City community, Grundfos staff raised $50,000 – enough to ensure access to a sustainable source of clean water for an entire community.
Terry Teach, Grundfos’ vice president of sales, visited Haiti with his wife, Kathy, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3.
“As we drove through Haiti, we saw quite a few water systems that had been installed and then abandoned,” Terry said. “The people need long-term, sustainable solutions in order to lift themselves out of poverty. That’s what Grundfos and Water Missions International have provided.”
The partnership combines Grundfos’ innovative technology with WMI’s holistic approach to community development. From the genesis of a project to the final implementation, WMI has sustainability in mind. It’s as much about education as it is about technology.
In Dauphine and Rossignol, for example, the $50,000 raised by the Kansas City Walk for Water was able to fund two Grundfos LIFELINK systems, as well as the training needed to sustain them and the hygiene lessons needed to prevent contamination.
“Through the Walk for Water and Water Missions International, we’ve been able to connect incredible technology with an incredible need,” Terry said.
The women and children of Dauphine and Rossignol will no longer waste hours each day walking to a contaminated water source and returning with five-gallon buckets of water on their heads. Access to clean water close to home will revolutionize their daily lives, freeing up time for education and work and preventing sickness from waterborne illnesses.
“What Water Missions International is doing with Grundfos’ help is truly transforming people’s lives,” Kathy said. “Thanks to the installation of sustainable safe water systems, Haitians are not only able to significantly improve their health, but they are also able to better their overall wellbeing and quality of life.”
When Terry and Kathy arrived in Dauphine on a WMI truck, they were greeted by the excited cheers of hundreds of visitors well aware of the importance of the technology they brought. A village leader explained Grundfos’ contribution to the crowd, pointing toward a Grundfos flag flying in the heart of the village where the new water station would be located.
“It was very moving to see this area of hope and progress,” Kathy said. “Grundfos employees can take great pride in being a part of that. Thanks to those who participated in the Kansas City Walk for Water, the entire village of Dauphine has access to safe, sustainable water.”
As part of their trip, Terry and Kathy also had the opportunity to visit Gorman, a village where WMI had previously installed a Grundfos SQFlex to draw groundwater into a water tower. Gorman provided evidence that a simple water system could be incredibly effective in spurring development.
Since the pump and tower were installed, the villagers were able to build a school that now educates close to 200 children whose water-fetching duties would have previously prevented them from receiving an education. Because villagers pay a small fee for their water, WMI is able to sustain the system and put the rest of the proceeds back into the system.
Dauphine and Rossignol will now have the opportunity to realize the same outcome.
“Those who participated in the Kansas City Walk for Water should understand the difference they’re making in the villagers’ lives,” Terry said.
Elsewhere in the country, the main source of water is typically a heavily contaminated, garbage-filled river that’s also used for bathing and washing clothes. In a country where houses are made of plastic tarps and metal scraps and where electricity and paved roads are scarce, clean water is the first step toward growth.
“Our trip to Haiti was both heart-wrenching and heartwarming,” Kathy said. “It was so sad to witness the extreme poverty and bleak living conditions of people across the island. Yet I will never forget the moment when the children of Dauphine presented Terry with a Grundfos flag in gratitude of the life-changing gift they had just received. Thanks to the Kansas City Walk for Water, there is hope for the future of these children.”
See photos from the trip on Facebook.