The Power Of Clean Water
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
We intend to communicate regularly both before and after our visit to seek input on Haitian cultural norms, to be co-learners in sustainable solar and water technologies and to grow a sustainable micro-business. Transparency and full disclosure of all relevant financial transactions, successes, failures and points for improvement are high values for both the US team and the Haitians. As we build a relationship, we will trust each other more with the result of greater expressions of honesty in our work. With the water purifier, that means working for hardware functionality, security and ongoing maintenance. With the micro-business, that means the business partners must trust each other with finances and co-labor with equity and honesty. When concerns arise, we agree to communicate with 100% respect and 100% honesty in our matters.
Both US students and Haitians have valuable contributions to the partnership. If we both approach as learners, we will value the other’s perspective and treat each other with mutual respect. The US faculty have invested in Haiti for multiple years and found an asymmetric relationship where the US side is viewed as the giver and Haitian side as a receiver. Our intent with Project Haiti is for both US and Haitian partners to be both givers and receivers in a mutual partnership.
As visitors, the US students approach in a posture of learning and adaptability. As hosts, we hope the Haitian students will be understanding and seek to communicate our cultural missteps. We also hope the Haitians will boldly express their desires and passions for their country’s future.
Within the past nine years, we have successfully installed eight purification systems, all being solar-powered and impacting different cities throughout Haiti. Our goal has been to successfully install one sustainable water purifier each year, except for year 2016 where our team returned to the previous site to improve the system by adding a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane capable of removing not only bacteria but also salt particles. There are currently eight fully operational purifiers and one expecting maintenance by the end of this year. Each purifier provides a specific amount of clean water per day depending on the system requirements for each site, allowing us to supply more than 28,000 gallons of clean water per day throughout the country.
Our team has estimated impacting the lives of 10,000-25,000 people across Haiti. Every year we are proud that this number keeps growing thanks to the commitment of the ERAU students, faculty and excellent Haitian partners. Our installation sites range from a variety of children foundations, orphanages and schools. With our micro-business initiative, we can impact not only children organizations but entire communities. 2018 installation was the site of an orphanage and school, which is home for 30 children, and a school for more than 200 students. By providing purified drinking water, we can create jobs, improve health, educate locals about hygiene and generate recurring income to take care of existing facilities as well as buy school supplies. Clean water is a crucial component in creating a sustainable lifestyle for these children.
Over the last nine years, Project Haiti has traveled to Haiti over ten times for various installation and maintenance trips. These trips provide different schools and orphanages with solar-powered water purifiers in the hopes of creating micro-businesses throughout the country.
2018 - GonaÏves, Haiti
2017 - Drouin, Haiti
2016/2015 - Gonaives, Haiti
2014 - Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
2013 - Michaud, Haiti
2012 - Onaville, Haiti
2011 - Chambellan, Haiti
2010 - Chambrun, Haiti
Our mechanical team designs and builds the core of the water purification system based on the needs of our partner. We draw on our past experience and classroom knowledge to implement systems using; reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, micron mesh filtering, and UV bulb technologies. These technologies filter a variety of contaminants such as bacteria and have the ability to desalinate local water sources to produce some of the purest water our teams have found in Haiti.
During each fall and spring semesters, our electrical team pieces together schematics to supply our solar-powered water purifier with renewable energy. After to verification of all the changing components, we redesigned for optimal power. Once we have the perfect design, our team wires together our purifier for an excessive amount of testing before it reaches Haiti. While in Haiti, our team installs the solar panels and cables together all the components in the purifier room.
Our Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) team conducts water test as well as community outreach to help educate the students and the community about the dangers. A variety of three different tests help provide our team a better understanding of current water conditions. We test for Cholera, Coliform, and other various bacteria. After we test the water, our team conducts classes with the children at the orphanages at each installation site. Our classes are build to be easily understood, highly educational and most importantly, can be retaught for future generations]\[. We provide each student with a bag filled with local hygiene products to promote the local economy.
Every Embry-Riddle student and faculty member has the opportunity to join Project Haiti on ERAU connections. Click below to physically join the effort and help work on our next instillation trip
Click below to learn more about the importance of water and the effects it causes when access to limited. “The Ripple Effect: Climate change impacts our ability to provide children with the water and sanitation they need to survive and grow”
Help provide clean water to thousands of children and communities throughout haiti with a Tax deductible donation. 100% of each donation goes towards providing clean water.