We’d send a child to cross the road to go get water and it would take 30 minutes before she returned.
"Access to water is crucial for the community, Sinal Chimene explains."
Sinal Chimene was displaced by the devastating 2010 earthquake and has been living in MOPAL camp. On August 17, 2016 GOAL interviewed Mrs Sinal Chimene, treasurer of MOPAL camp in Gressier, Haiti. GOAL, with financial support from the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), constructed a water pump and worked with community members to improve overall hygiene and reduce risk to waterborne diseases including cholera. Sinal spoke about the importance of access to water in her locality and the benefits the water pump is bringing to the community.
“I’m the treasurer of the camp. On behalf of the population, we send big congratulations to GOAL, and we say thank you very much for what you’ve done for us, and what you continue to do for us.
“The water situation for us was very hard. When we’d send a child to cross the road to go get water it would take 30 minutes before she returned. When the child was crossing the road, we were thinking about all the things that could happen to her, because it is a two lane highway and it is not easy to cross. When we see the child come back, we thank the Lord that she wasn’t hit by a car. And when they get to the water, they always take more than 30 minutes to get water because there are many people collecting water.”
Collecting water is based on a first come, first served basis. If a child is not persistent they may be overtaken by those bigger than them, Sinal explains.
“Her bucket gets pushed out of the way by adults and she has to stand and wait longer. Thanks to GOAL the population now has water and together we say thank you very much. The water tap is the greatest gift you could’ve given to us.”
The location of the water pump means that people, especially the children, are much safer. They don’t need to risk crossing the treacherous road. The time it takes to get the water has also been hugely reduced.
“Now, we feel good, because you can put the pan on the stove while you go get water. When we go to bathe, we just have to bring our own soap. We can get our own water to wash. We are proud because of the gift of water GOAL has given to us. There was a pump, but the pump didn’t work long before it broke. It’s on the other side that we cross to walk 30 minutes to go get water. Now it’s easy for us.
“We think it is important, it’s a big privilege for us all that GOAL installed the pump because before we walked across the street to go get water, all kinds of terrible things could happen. Now we don’t have to cross the road anymore. any child can go with someone to the tap to fill up their bucket. This means a lot to us.”
BRÍD O’BRIEN | GRESSIER, HAITI