Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti

Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti

This project has been completed under the direction of Rafael Cruz, President of La Alianza Viva Caribe. This organization has a long history of working in collaboration with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

The project resulted in the construction of a ferro-cement tank and a rainwater catchment system. In addition, an effective team was trained to be able to continue to construct tanks in Haiti.

Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti

Rafael reports:

This project is the start of a great dream to bring clean water to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. It involves the construction of a ferro-cement tank in Haiti with the generous support of Water Charity.

The size of the tank is 12,000 liters, and it has been constructed in the community of Grandsaban, in the municipality of Acul des Pins.

The community of Grandsaban has a growth rate of 10 to 12 children per family. 15% of the children die before the age of five. 80% cannot read or write. Only 10% have finished primary education, 5% secondary education, and less than 3% university education. There is only one medical doctor for 32,000 inhabitants. 99% of the families do not have potable water.

The community has a population of about 5,000 people. The lack of water is dramatic, water being carried by children who walk long distances to recover a day’s supply for the family, often from contaminated sources.

Under the Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program the Peace Corps trained three counterpart Haitians in the Dominican Republic in the ferro-cement tank technology. These consisted of a Haitian Ambiorix, a Dominican technician, Félix Mangete , and an engineer, Juan Peralta. After training, they traveled to Haiti to build the first tank in the municipality of Acul des Pains.

The general coordinator of the project in Haiti was Jhonny Genord Clervil, who coordinated with the leader of the community and the Mayor, Dejan Pierre. These leaders formed a committee of 10 persons who were responsible for the execution of the project. The community provided 20 volunteers who offered their services each day and received food for their support.

I traveled three times to Haiti, organizing the work for carrying out the project, and collaborating with Associate Peace Corps Director for the Dominican Republic Tim McFarren.

Water Charity project funds were used to buy materials, including welding materials, metal screen, cement, sand, gravel, wire, aluminum covers, laminated plywood, canvas, paint and fittings.

The actual construction of the tank took five days to complete, and now serves to effectively provide water for the community.

We extend our thanks to Rafael for completing this groundbreaking and monumental project, to Tim McFarren and the Peace Corps Volunteers of the Dominican Republic, and the entire crew that worked diligently to make it possible.

We again thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing matching funds this project.


Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti
Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti
Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti
Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti
Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti
Conclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – HaitiConclusion of Acul des Pins Ferro-Cement Tank Project – Haiti

Funds Needed : 

Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program

Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program

Water Charity is pleased to announce our largest and most comprehensive endeavor since we began operation in 2008. The project will result in the construction of three or four ferro-cement tanks for the storage of water at needed locations in the Dominican Republic, followed by at least eight such tanks in Haiti.

We will present the initial concept here, and update it as it progresses. Individual projects under this master concept will be developed and presented separately.

This is a program that we have developed from the ground up after identifying a critical need. In our prior operations, we have sought individual projects that have arisen from specific communities, and have worked to assist in their implementation. In contrast, in this comprehensive program, we have identified widespread generalized need, and have designed a radical new methodology for delivering services to a multitude of communities suffering from a shortage of potable water.

Dominican Republic & Haiti Map

In its simplest form, the concept can be described as follows:

  • We will undertake to build three or four ferro-cement water storage tanks in the Dominican Republic.  The tanks will be built by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) who have already been trained in the technology, having recently worked together to build two tanks.  The program is being led by Timothy McFarren, Programming and Training Officer, Peace Corps Dominican Republic.
  • In the course of said construction, Haitians living in the Dominican Republic will be trained in the technology by the PCVs, under the direction of a local NGO, Fundacion Educadores Unidos del Cibao, with experience and operations in both countries.  The program is being led by Rafael Cruz.
  • The trained Haitians will return to Haiti, under the technical direction of Rafael Cruz, and build at least eight new ferro-cement tanks there in key locations.

The concept arose in an indirect way to accomplish a needed task. Water Charity had undertaken some small projects in Haiti as part of the relief effort after the earthquake. In the course of this, it was recognized that a more substantial long-range development effort needed to be undertaken. The necessity for water storage was seen to be critical in many locations.

At the same time, we had been working with Peace Corps staff in the Dominican Republic on several projects. We learned that they were implementing ferro-cement technology, and were proceeding to train Peace Corps Volunteers in the processes to build the tanks.

The Peace Corps does not have a presence in Haiti. Regulations did not allow Dominican Republic PCVs to travel to Haiti. The idea was born that these trained Volunteers could train Haitians within the Dominican Republic, who would then go back to their country and build tanks.

The Tanks in the Dominican Republic
Individual projects are scheduled to be rolled out and tanks are scheduled to be built sequentially in the Dominican Republic in the following locations and sizes:

  1. Los Uveros – 11,000 liters
  2. El Brison – 15,000 liters
  3. Rio Grande al Medio – 21,000 liters
  4. La Colorada Arriba - 50,000 liters

The Tanks in Haiti
The tanks completed are as follows:

  1. Acul des Pins – 12,000 liters

The Funding
This program became possible in March, 2010, when Water Charity made a presentation of the concept to the ANON Foundation, a Southern California philanthropic organization. What was sought was an endorsement of the concept and a commitment that they would match the contributions of other donors to accomplish the stated mission. Although immediate dollars were not available, we obtained a commitment that sufficient funds will be raised at a fundraiser that they have planned for November, 2010.

The above commitment from ANON, together with the ongoing support of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, was sufficient to allow Water Charity to move forward with the plan and commit its own funds to implement the program, and we set the process in motion.

Every large-scale donor has different requirements and procedures. Some donors have a 45 day review process. Others have money available right away, but have very specific criteria as to location, scope, and benefit.

In view of the conflicting review processes, we determined that this major concept will proceed as a hybrid. Each individual tank will be "sold" as an individual stand-alone project. Each of the tanks so constructed will come under the general methodology developed for the comprehensive plan.

The Technology
Ferro-cement tanks are a reliable and effective way to store large quantities of water for community use. Tanks ranging from 11,000 to 50,000 liters in capacity are custom-built as needed, using readily available materials.

The process entails erecting a structural form of steel wire mesh, covered by layers of cement. The necessary valves and piping are installed as part of the construction.

The process of layering the cement takes about 4 or 5 days, to allow for proper drying and testing. The finished tank can be filled from any available source. The contents of the tank can be purified as needed.

The Benefit
It is estimated that the tanks constructed in the Dominican Republic will serve 1,700 people in fixed communities.

The 8 tanks to be constructed in Haiti, involving a more migrant population, will serve upwards of 4,000 people.

The program is totally scalable, and will result in trained technicians being available to continue to build tanks as needed in Haiti.

Huge benefit is achieved through the volunteer labor provided by the PCVs. Tools need only be purchased once. The trained become trainers. Skills are developed to sequentially build larger tanks, which cost only incrementally more but are much more cost-effective.

Most importantly, a skilled group of Haitian nationals will be available to carry the project forward by implementing it in needed locations in Haiti.

The Plea
We are soliciting funding for the overall concept. At the same time, we are seeking individual donors and partners to participate in the construction of the specific units.

ANON will match donations, so funders will be able to multiply the impact of their contributions.

We have received a commitment from The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust to provide matching funds for the program as well.

We have received a generous donation of $2,000 from Justin Lazard, of New York, USA. These funds will be used for the construction of ferro-cement tanks in Haiti.

Cody Matherne has started an effort, called Race for Water, to raise funds for this project. If you wish for your donation to be credited toward Cody’s fundraising effort, please click on the specially-coded Donate button below.


If you wish to take part in this new and challenging program, please send an email to our COO, Averill Strasser, at mail@watercharity.org, outlining how you would like to help.

Biosand Filter Project – Haiti

HydrAid BioSand FiltersWater Charity is participating in a program to deliver biosand filters to the people of Haiti. A relief effort was begun shortly after the devastating earthquake and is continuing in the aftermath. It will be expanded as quickly as possible to provide safe water to the population over the longer term.

The biosand filters being used for the project are HydrAid BioSand Filters, manufactured in Michigan. The project includes technology, research, installation, education, maintenance, quality assurance and support through a global network of partners.

The HydrAid system is founded on proven biosand water filter technology that has been effectively used around the world for decades. When properly implemented, it filters out 99.9% of the parasites, bacteria, and viruses from dirty water. It is effective in the control of diarrhea, one of the most deadly waterborne diseases, which is estimated to cause 1.5 million child deaths per year.

Packing Filter ComponentsThe biosand filter utilizes specified layers of gravel and sand of specific grades and sizes. In addition, it is topped by a biological layer which assists in the purification process.

The biosand filter is easy to install, delivers high volumes, requires little maintenance, and produces clean water for up to 10 years.

Water Charity began evaluating and using the technology in specific long-term applications, starting in 2008. When the earthquake struck in Haiti, it became evident that HydrAid filters would be the ideal tool for immediate use in the relief effort, especially in light of the close proximity of Haiti to the US mainland.

Various agencies and organizations came together to develop a plan to produce, deliver, and install HydrAid filters in Haiti. The original HydrAid design was enhanced for disaster relief with additional disinfection technology by Amway engineers. The procedure called for treatment of the water, first with chlorine, and then additional filtration through a carbon filter. An important addition was the inclusion of a receptacle for storing the clean water. The additional disinfection serves a number of purposes, including further reduction of pathogens, elimination of the waiting period before the filter can be used, and reduction of the possibility of re-contamination of the treated water.

Boxes of BioSand Filter ComponentsAmway teamed up with the Safe Water Team, a West Michigan nonprofit organization, Thirsting to Serve, a Michigan Rotary group, and Triple Quest, a Joint Venture of Cascade Engineering and Windquest Group, to supply HydrAid filter systems to Haitian schools, clinics, and other earthquake victims.

The delivery process got underway when a truckload of 22 skids of HydrAid filters, complete with filter sand, was shipped to Jacksonville, Florida. The U.S. Navy then transported the filters to Haiti. The NGO Pure Water for the World is handling the distribution and installation in Haiti.

Your donation towards this project will be used in its entirety for the purchase of the filters, the ground transportation, and the installation of the filters in Haiti.

Flash:  Every dollar you donate will be matched by The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust!



Emergency Water Filtration Project – Haiti

Water Filter - HaitiWater Charity has started a project to deliver water filters to Haiti at once. Under the direction of Ryan Sinclair, Dr.P.H, filters are being set up in and near Port-au-Prince to dispense safe water immediately.

The Center for Public Health Preparedness at Loma Linda University has sent a team to assess the needs and deliver emergency relief to the people of Haiti. Dr. Sinclair, Assistant Professor at the Loma Linda School of Public Health, and an expert in water and sanitation, is accompanying the team.

We purchased commercially-available filters and chlorine, and gave them to Dr. Sinclair to take with him.

Urgent and difficult problems demand simple solutions. Using this direct method, we are able to help deliver life-saving filters precisely where they are needed, NOW.

Your donation is urgently requested for this project. 100% of your donation will go to purchase water filters, which are being deployed now. If you are looking for a vehicle to make a donation to the relief effort in Haiti, you will not find a more direct and cost-efficient way to contribute.

Flash:  Every dollar you donate will be matched by The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust!

This project has been completed.

Funds Needed : 

Safe Water for Rural Communities NOW! – Haiti

Earthquake Map - HaitiWater Charity has embarked on a project to immediately establish a system to disseminate safe water to rural communities impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. We are undertaking this in partnership with Deep Springs International (DSI), an NGO that has been working for three years to provide for potable water in rural areas of Haiti.

The immediate response has been to scale up production of chlorine and provide chlorine and buckets to families in the areas surrounding Port-au-Prince, the city most affected by the devastation.

In the longer term, it is anticipated that rural areas will experience an influx of refugees from the destruction of Port-au-Prince and overwhelm current rural water supplies. Increasing the capacity for household water treatment in rural Haiti will provide clean drinking water to the refugee population and the existing population.

In a crisis situation, simple solutions which are easy to implement at once are called for. Teams on the ground will provide safe storage systems (a bucket with tap and lid), chlorine supply, and training to affected, rural families and communities.

The chlorine solution that is used is that recommended by the Center for Disease Control. The simple water treatment system allows families to obtain water from any source, add one capful of chlorine solution to 5 gallons of water, wait 30 minutes, and then drink safe water. Experience shows that even the poorest families can treat their own water regularly with this system.

Sources for chlorine generators, buckets, taps, and chlorine tablets and granules have been established. Emergency response personnel will visit affected rural communities, identify community health workers who can assist with the distribution, and train technicians to implement and teach the processes and ensure compliance.

Your donation is urgently requested to assist us in this endeavor. Please click on the Donate button below. 100% of your contribution will immediately go directly toward work on the ground in this emergency relief effort.

Flash:  Every dollar you donate will be matched by The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust!

This project has been completed.

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