As the international community calls on more help for Haiti, one Louisville-based organization is continuing to provide potable water to earthquake victims. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
Louisville-based Edge Outreach has been working to provide clean water since shortly after the January 12th earthquake. It has set up water purification systems in 24 communities and trained 18 Haitian water specialists to oversee their operations.
Bowin Tichenor is the organization’s regional director. He says the group is also working to meet long-term needs.
“We’ve developed a three-year plan with the water specialists that we’ve trained up and also we’ve worked with the UN water cluster,” he says. “And we think that we’ve got a good handle on how we can be best used.”
Tichenor says the arrival of the rainy season threatens to contaminate water sources.
“When the rains come a lot of times the wells that were producing good water stop producing good water, because all of the ground water that’s contaminated has a tendency to seep down into the wells,” he says. “And especially after the earthquake, a lot of the wells that were good before are now contaminated.”
Contaminated water can cause outbreaks of disease, including cholera, and dysentery.
Edge Outreach is planning to send more people from the U.S. to expand the systems and help people living in harsh situations maintain good hygiene.
Tichenor says much more work is ahead due to the massive destruction.
“Conditions on the ground are honestly pretty much the same as they were just after the quake,” he says. “And we’re headed into the rainy season now and it’s raining in Haiti as we speak and so I’m thinking things are going to get worse.”
Edge Outreach officials say it has raised about a half a million dollars so far for their work in Haiti, for which the Louisville Water Company provided $25,000.