The Impact of Water Committees

Drinking water is not free in Haiti. Infrastructure is expensive and in order to ensure long-term sustainability, users must contribute financially in order to support things like administration and ongoing maintenance. The presence of a water committee gives people a voice in creating solutions that are fair and equitable for everyone. A local community, Corail Thor, supports the central government water and sanitation agency, DINEPA, in the implementation of its policy on drinking water and sanitation.

The members of the Management Committee of the drinking water supply and sanitation system of Corail Thor (CAEPA) learned about the importance of management principles. A water system is being built in their community with funding from Water.org. In a meeting with future users, people expressed their dissatisfaction with having to pay for water in the community while a neighboring community, Morne Chandelle #2, gets water for free from a system that was just built by a non-governmental organization that did not coordinate with DINEPA.

The members of CAEPA quickly realized that the future of their own system is threatened if they do not intervene and help the people of Morne a Chandelle #2 to implement DINEPA’s policy. In response to this, the CAEPA met with DINEPA officials to express their concerns. DINEPA thanked the members of CAEPA for informing them of the situation, which they were unaware of, and has agreed to take charge of the problem in order to provide an answer as soon as possible. This is why it is important to have a water committee where a water system is implemented.

Currently, DINEPA is actively working to collect data from those who participated in the construction of the system at Morne a Chandelle #2. A meeting will soon follow, during which DINEPA will explain the National policy for water pricing to all those who were involved in the construction of the water supply system at Morne a Chandelle #2. The aim is to harmonize the operation of the two systems: the one at Corail Thor and that of Morne a Chandelle #2. Meanwhile, the CAEPA maintains tight contacts with DINEPA to inquire about the progress of the project. The CAEPA continues, through meetings, to explain to the local people the reason for a tax on water. It is the single way to ensure regular services and quality water for everyone living in those communities.

To read the full text, in the original language, French, please click here.

Capital city: Port-au-Prince
Population of 10 million
4 million lack safe water
8 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 6.4%
80% live in poverty

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