Photo by HCJB Global/Water engineer Martin Harrison
Haiti (HCJB/MNN) ― Nearly two years after an earthquake shattered Haiti, the country remains fragile.
International donors have fallen behind their aid pledges, which threatens to undermine stability and already-slow recovery efforts.
There are many bright spots, though. In the country's north, Ecuadorian civil engineers César Cortez and Alfredo León are looking at restoring hope in one community there. "There are about 100 wells in that area. The first option is to rebuild. One of the water projects that the Red Cross built maybe 50 years ago, according to the information I received from the people, right now is completely destroyed."
Cortez, a longtime partner with HCJB Global Hands, is in Haiti to survey the situation. They are collaborating with Lifewater of Canada and One Mission Society. He says, "The projects that I found possible to build are around Cap-Haitien."
"The water projects team we have sent is on the ground with
two purposes," said Martin Harrison, the Clean Water Projects team director who
has had satellite phone contact with the engineers who are in Haiti for 10
days. First, Cortez explains, "Everything is based on relations: relations
with God, relations with church leaders and the people in these communities. The best way to pray for us is to pray that God can
help us in those relations between mission organizations and the people." Second, says Harrison, they will be
collecting information and conducting topographic surveys with a view to
producing a long-term solution to the community's water and sanitation needs.
The Sept. 12-23 trip objectives are similar to those of Cortez in January 2011 when he surveyed the Cap-Haitien area's wells and documented his findings. Just as the Vozandes Community Development team's efforts emphasize community involvement and empowerment in Ecuador, so too Cortez and León are seeking to guide a Haitian effort, not eclipse it with foreign intervention.
They're bringing more than clean water; they're also bringing the Living Water. During three weeks in Haiti earlier this year, Cortez was also able to teach in a seminary and in local churches around Cap-Haitien. "Always, there's danger wherever you go. It doesn't matter where you are going, you can find problems, so [pray for] security and relations."