Water in short supply in Haiti

By January 18, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — While aid continues pouring into Haiti, logistics of aid distribution have been difficult. Food, medicine, shelter and water are all in high demand. Water will continue to be an issue, long term.

Living Water International has been working in Haiti since 2004. LWI's Jonathan Wiles says they had a team in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit. "We finally heard from our crew nearest the epicenter, and we have confirmation that all of our team members and their families are accounted for."

Wiles says lack of water is a major issue right now. "Earthquakes devastate water systems. Particularly in the area of Port-au-Prince, water sources are going to be contaminated with cholera and typhoid and beyond surviving the first week, the problem of surviving the disease will become an issue starting in the next couple of weeks."

While Living Water International isn't a relief organization, it's doing everything it can to help short term.

Wiles says the immediate plan is to use the team from the North. "Our team, based in North Haiti, was furthest from the quake, and the equipment is more intact. So that team is setting a goal of repairing 500 incapacitated water systems."

LWI already has a container of pump parts on the ground, and another is on the way. Wiles says they won't be heading in to Port-au-Prince. "The population of the city is going to be fleeing into the outlying areas. The villages are going to be quickly swelling in population, and whatever they have is not going to be enough.

"Our goal is to begin with those outlying areas and work our way in so that we can service areas where people are fleeing first."

Your support is needed now. "It costs, on average, about $3,000 to repair one community water supply, so a 500 community project is about a $1.5 million endeavor." Your $50 gift to LWI will ensure one family will have water in Haiti.

Much of LWI's work will be in new areas, says Wiles. "We'll be working in areas where we haven't done a lot in the past, but where we have great connections. So we'll be moving in and talking with the local pastors to enable the local churches to be able to love people in the name of Jesus."

If you'd like to provide water for the needy in Haiti, click here.

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