A community’s quest for water

May 01, 2018
The community, standing next to the original non-protected well. Photo: World Vision

Written by: World Vision Staff; Edited by Leanna Cappiello

In the community of Morne Pelee, drinking water isn’t a luxury that’s available at the turn of a tap. In fact, World Vision’s annual survey for 2017 revealed that households in this area have great difficulty accessing drinking water, period. With no wells within a reasonable walking distance, water in a central location that was safe and clean seemed like a pipe dream.
Initially, community members assumed their local water was safe to drink. They’d collect water from an unprotected well without treating the water before drinking it. Not surprisingly, this made many sick with diseases like cholera and typhoid.
Once they discovered a neighbouring well, they went to great lengths to get water.
"We were forced to walk for over an hour to go to another town with the hope of finding drinking water," says 13-year-old Bertelene, a sponsored child.
To address this, the community hosted meetings where people were invited to partner and participate in finding a solution. From these meetings, seven members, including Bertelene, formed a committee. Their role? To be sure the drilling project was managed from beginning to end.
Provide the gift of life with clean water and sanitation.

Like many big projects, the cost provided a roadblock, and things were put on hold. In the meantime, training was prioritized in anticipation of the well. About 50 people, including committee members, were trained on safe water treatment techniques, like adding chlorine to disinfect the water to make it drinkable.

The new and improved well is both a water source and a victory for this community. Photo: World Vision

Soon, a partnership formed between the Morne Pelee community an organization called The Living Water, and the new well was a go.
Bertelaine was pleased with the completion of this work. Now, her main responsibility is to monitor access to the well so her community can use the resource safely.
“Thanks to this [new water source], members of the community have access to drinking water,” she states proudly.