Developing Rural Water Systems: An Evaluation of Haiti’s First Chlorinated Municipal Water System in the Central Plateau
AbstractHaiti has the worst drinking-water indicators in the Western Hemisphere and access to improved water sources has not dramatically improved for over two decades. This limited success despite hefty investments can be attributed to a variety of reasons including lack of community involvement and lack of long-term support of operation and maintenance for rural water systems. This paper presents a case study of Haiti’s first municipal chlorinated water system in the rural Central Plateau and critically examines its effectiveness. While the technology behind the Cange water system is highly innovative and effective, its lack of community involvement and feasible operation/maintenance jeopardizes its long-term viability. Methods to sustain the system without major external intervention are currently being developed and attempted through a partnership with Haiti’s public water sector. NGOs and organizations should ensure that an appropriate community development framework is established prior to system installation so that these problems can be avoided.
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