On January 12th, 2010 a terrible earthquake struck Haiti (resulting in over two hundred thousand deaths), and it was decided by the working group that the best place to implement Aquaplus was in such a tormented land, and not just because of the earthquake.
The decision was made however not to take action in the earthquake area, where the Aquaplus project was incompatible with priorities which had arisen in the wake of the disaster. Implementation was to take place in an area with approximately 15,000 inhabitants on the south western peninsular, in the municipality of Torbeck, Les Cayes province which was affl icted by the country’s highest levels of poverty, further exacerbated by the arrival of thousands of refugees from the capital.
Two Humanitarian Engineering NGOs, AVSI and MLFM, were already active in the area which is also home to Haiti’s University of Notre Dame Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Forging an eff ective collaborative relationship with all three entities evolved naturally.
In May 2010 a meticulous inspection was carried out by a working group established by Rotary, the EXPO Company and the Municipality of Milan and all the necessary elements were collected for of a detailed work plan and budget.
METHODOLOGY The prime objective of the methodology utilized was to obtain sustainable and durable results by MOTIVATING, TRAINING and INVOLVING the local population, with whom the three main project phases, previously defi ned in the concept design, would be completed.
Restoration and expansion of spring catchment and 18 km of aqueduct, supplying 15,000 inhabitants. Distribution of clean water by means of 47 public fountains and 475 private connections. Clean up and restoration of irrigation channels. Establishment and training of a Committee, elected from local residents, entrusted with managing the water system.
Training of expert agronomists and teachers by the University of Milan (UNIMI) Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, in collaboration with the local University of Notre Dame, Haiti (UNDH), to educate and train farmers to achieve better use of local lands, to enhance the agricultural potential.
Designing, constructing and setting up assistance for a Transformation Unit of local agricultural products, to encourage social enterprise (farmers’ cooperatives), for managing the facilities and consequent enjoyment of monetary income.
The project’s three initial phases were followed by a fourth phase, after requests by the World Food Program and the Haitian Government, for the study, fine-tuning and manufacture of children’s food supplements containing Moringa Oleifera, which is richest in vitamins, minerals and proteins compared to most fruits and vegetables.