Well, it appears that we are actually going to be flying into Port au Prince (PAP) this coming Saturday morning. I've packed a good amount of the items people have donated and a small bag for my personal items and food. Father Isidor and I will be traveling together from STL. I was called this past weekend by Lou Hagler who is a founder of OPTE. He was hoping to travel with us, but the tickets are too expensive and he has a business to run in Cape Girardeau.
Lou explained to me that when OPTE decided to build a school, they also identified infrastructure needs. One is clean drinking water. The town of Thomassique does not have electricity and the drinking water comes in to town via a 15 mile pipe. By the time the water arrives in Thomassique, it is contaminated. People draw from the pipe and store water because the flow is not consistent. While stored in plastic containers, the bacteria and parasites in the water grow. People are constantly getting sick and many die from the diahrea they get from the water.
Lou and others from OPTE have trained on how to install a water filtration system created by Living Waters. These systems have been installed in many countries and there are over 300 world wide. There were 20 in Haiti until the earthquake destroyed 6. The units operate by use of a generator. Generators are a good source of energy, but have inherent problems. They are easily stolen, they are frequently disconnected from the water filtration system to provide electricity, but they also require fuel to run.
Living Waters has decided after the Haiti earthquake to convert its water filtration systems from generator fueled to solar fueled. The filtration system for Thomassique is in the early stages of development and installation. The team heading up the installation are now switching gears to make this a solar powered unit. I will be taking pictures and assessing what work on the system has been done by the Haitians in Thomassique so that the Engineers in Cape can begin planning what they will need and what they will do on their next trip to continue the installation.