In March 2016, Austin Moore of Waggoner Engineering, out of Jackson, MS and a team of volunteers travelled to Haiti to install a water supply project for non-profit organization, But God Ministries (BGM).
Following the devastating earthquake of 2010, BGM established two sustainable communities in Haiti. In one of the communities, the remote village of Galette Chambon, 44 homes sit atop a hill without running water. A few years prior, a water well was drilled at the base of the hill. However, accessing the water was difficult. Villagers had to travel quite a distance to collect water in buckets. In Haiti, it is the responsibility of women and children to collect water for their families.
The project included installation of 4,000 feet of pipe, 2,000 gallons of storage, and 44 water meters. Once the project was complete, the team assisted the village in forming a community water association, which created jobs for a meter reader, service crew, and administrative staff. Before returning home, the team learned of a new water supply need within the village. A local farmer had established a co-op of farmers in a nearby valley with abundant sunshine and fertile soil. The one thing the farmers lacked was a reliable source of water to irrigate their crops. Over the next year, Austin and his team went to the drawing board to develop a plan.
Austin and his team returned to Galette Chambon in March 2017 to put their plan into action. The project entailed a water well and 14,000 feet of pipe to irrigate 90 acres of cropland. When the team arrived, the water well had been drilled and was awaiting the installation of the pump and distribution lines. The team installed several thousand feet of pipe and laid the groundwork for following teams to continue and finish the project. Once complete, the irrigation project will provide a reliable supply of water, thus providing the farmers with fresh produce and a source of income for their families.
Once again, the team learned of a new water supply need before returning home. In the village of Thoman, 6,000 Haitians reside without access to clean drinking water. Austin and his team are back at the drawing board working to find a solution. “It’s a blessing to be able to use my skills to help others who lack access to clean drinking water,” says Moore. “I am grateful for Waggoner and organizations like the Alabama/Mississippi Section of AWWA who support these projects.”