Overseas-based Haitian Helping to Bring Clean Drinking Water To Haiti

Children in the Haitian village of Maro Verger haul heavy containers of water uphill to their homes every day, students at the Maple Elementary School learned at a Tuesday morning assembly.

And there’s no guarantee the water is safe to drink, explained Yvette Depestre, founder of the Marco Depestre Foundation of Ottawa, which provides assistance to the mountainous Haitian community of around 83 families. 

“It’s a long way from here to Haiti,” Depestre told the attentive children, who were seated on the floor in the school’s basement meeting room. She showed them a map and photographs from the island country, which is still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Last year the Depestre foundation built a school in Maro Verger. The school collects rainwater in a cistern and filters it to create drinking water. But individual households procure water anywhere they can find it, she said. Sometimes that water contains harmful microorganisms that make people sick.

“We are trying to make sure the families have enough Aquatabs,” Depestre said. “One tablet can purify a gallon of water.”

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