Bringing clean water and sanitation
to people around the globe
one village at a time
Zabriko is a mountain area located directly west of Hinche, the capital of the Central Plateau. It is one of the most remote and poorest areas in all of Haiti. It can be reached only by means of hiking up a steep footpath after reaching the end of an exceedingly rough road.
The Zabriko project is being undertaken by the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP), an organization composed of farmer collectives throughout the Central Plateau. MPP had provided community water supplies for many communities before
international aid for Haiti dried up in the early 1990s. Given the renewed availability of funding provided through Drink Water for Life campaigns, MPP rejuvenated its community water program. The Zabriko community water and sanitation project is being undertaken in five phases. Phase I of the project was completed in December 2009.
It captured of water from a pure spring high in the mountains, which was piped and distributed at three community water taps, one at the public school/market area, one near the Catholic church,
and one higher up the mountain for families that used the spring before the project.
This project serves more than 2000 people and cost approximately $10,000 cash, funded by 1st Congregational UCC of Salem OR, Faith UCC of Indianapolis IN, All Peoples UCC of Bend OR, and the 2009 5th grade graduates of Sumpter Elementary School in Salem OR. The remainder of the project resources were technical expertise contributed by the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) and the in-kind labor contributed by the people of Zabriko. The area above the spring is well forested and protected from contamination.
Through the leadership of the farmer collectives in the area, the community will held elections for members of a water committee to assure protection of the source and maintenance of the system. The farmer collectives in the area provide on-going health promotion education, including hygiene education.
Phase II of the project involved preparing a water resources assessment for the Zabriko watershed. The water from the Zabriko spring cap was apt to be overwhelmed by the 3000 - 6000 people living in communities adjacent to the center of Zabriko. Although the water from the spring was plentiful in the wet season, the spring was not be adequate to meet these needs during the dry season. Also, it would have taken 1 - 3 hours round trip for women and children to fetch this clean water. So, MPP surveyed the water resources in surrounding communities within the watershed, identifying 22 communities that would benefit from spring caps. Spring caps have been installed in Tablon, Lefle Diset, Paklo, and Pedosant as part of Phase II. Spring caps in the remaining communities are installed as funds are available.
Phase III installed a pilot composting toilet to provide improved sanitation in the Zabriko area. Compost from the toilet is used for vegetable gardens in the area.
Phase IV will involve reforestation and installation of soil erosion control structures. Phase V will install an irrigation system in order to expand agricultural production into the dry season, roughly doubling the area's income. MPP will attempt to fund this last phase through a long term micro-finance loan.
Another project that MPP has previously attempted is provision of education to the estimated 50% of Zabriko children who cannot afford tuition at the Catholic school and cannot obtain one of the limited spaces at the public school. Approximately 1000 children do not receive any education because their parents are too poor. We are still searching for funding sources for the latter phases of the water, sanitation, and hygiene education projects as well as the school project.
For more on the Zabriko project, visit http://sites.google.com/site/thezabrikoproject