Manquette Community, Haiti

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The water crisis was a harsh daily reality for the 341 people living in the Manquette community in Haiti. The municipal water taps only had water every few months, so the community tried to alleviate their water shortage with a hand-dug well. But the well was shallow, and the residents struggled to collect enough water for daily living. As a result, the women and children were tasked with water collection for their families and spent much of their time either trying to get water from the shallow hand-dug well or traveling to further water sources and hauling it back home.
The community members rationed their water out of necessity. This meant abandoning basic hygiene practices in order to preserve water for cooking and drinking. As a result, germs and illnesses spread unchecked throughout Manquette. The situation worsened when residents had to stop using the latrine block due to the lack of water. Time spent recovering from waterborne illnesses like typhoid meant time away from work and school, making it difficult for the community members to move beyond reaction-based patterns of living.
During an interview with Living Water staff, Luma Démétrius, a 54-year-old teacher in Manquette, explained that the children of the community were particularly at risk. He explained that when the children are sick, they can’t attend school, which puts their educations and futures in jeopardy.
Luma said; “We have a hand-dug well. It doesn’t have enough water. We have latrines, but we couldn’t use them because we didn’t have water for it. [The municipal water supply] only supplied water every three months. Many children had typhoid, and they couldn’t go to school.”

When the residents heard of Living Water International’s work in the region, they requested a safe water project for their community. Living Water staff visited Manquette to assess the situation. Once there, the team saw the extent of the water crisis and determined a safe water project was feasible. The WaitStaff Team’s gift made it possible for the staff to announce a new well would be drilled in the community!
The Living Water staff also helped the community establish sustainability practices, guiding them in the selection of a water committee to oversee the care and maintenance of the well. Living Water will also stay in contact with the community to support sustainability efforts and monitor the well’s functionality.
And in order to help the community members understand how to use the newly provided safe and dependable water, the Living Water staff held hygiene and sanitation classes. The residents learned how to care for the new pump and safely store the water. They also learned effective handwashing technique and the importance of using latrines, which will keep them from getting sick.
Throughout the water project, the Living Water team explained that the water in the new well represents the living water that God freely offers to everyone. The staff used John 4:13-14 (NIV) to underline this message during an evangelistic service where the community members heard the good news of the gospel: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Luma knows that safe water will change everything in the Manquette community, especially for the children:
Luma said, “We expect to have enough good water. We will have green trees in the school yard. The children’s parents will save more money.”
He and his neighbors are now hopeful about their future, knowing they are agents of change in their region. They are trained and ready to sustain their new well. They can now envision a future that isn’t marred by thirst or need. They take pride in their ability to implement community-driven solutions to prevent their well from falling into disrepair. Safe water changes everything!

Your Impact

The WaitStaff Team, thank you for ending the water crisis in this community. Through your gift of a new well, you’ve been instrumental in transforming daily life for every single person in the Manquette community. Your gift has provided the residents with the means to escape reaction-based patterns of living. Sustaining their new well has instilled hope and confidence in the community members, fostering goodwill and cooperation among neighbors. Their health and hope have been restored. Your gift also serves as a reminder of God’s great love for each person in the community, a tangible reminder of the promise in Isaiah 12:3 (NIV): “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”