Haiti Clean Water Grant

The final approvals for the ORBRC’s third Haiti biosand water project are nearly complete and the needed campaign for funding has started.

 Clean water is fundamental to public health and the elimination of water borne disease, making it a designated area of focus for the Rotary Foundation. Clean water is a major, long-standing problem in Haiti, particularly in rural areas. This persistent problem has been exacerbated with the introduction of cholera to Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake.  Increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water is a high priority for Haiti.


Biosand water filters are a simple sustainable no-input technology to produce clean water in rural Haiti. They were developed thirty years ago at the University of Calgary, and are concrete or plastic shells, similar to large trashcans filled with sand. Dirty water is poured in the top, and after passing through the filter, clean water comes out a spout. The sand filters out particulates in the water. More importantly, a biological film forms naturally on the top surface of the sand and together with the sand destroys harmful pathogens. These filters require no replacement parts, no replenishment chemicals, no input energy, minimal maintenance, and have a long lifetime.


The new project will build on two successfully completed Rotary water projects in Haiti. The first was a $10,000 2012 Rotary Pilot Project implemented in Leogane, Haiti. Funded partially by a District 6780 Simplified Grant, this Pilot Project demonstrated an effectiveness of biosand filters to provide a sustainable source of clean water in rural areas of Haiti.  The second project was a much larger event in 2014-15 that manufactured, transported and installed 900 biosand filters in the Saint Marc region of Haiti in partnership with their Rotary Club.  This project was funded with $20,000 of local Rotary Club contributions, a District 6780 100% matching grant, and a 150% Global matching grant from Rotary International. 


The current project, “Haiti Biosand Safe Water Filters” GC176482, will be implemented by a partnership of the participating US Rotary Clubs, the Montrouis Rotary Club of the Artibonite Valley region of Haiti, and with the Clean Water for Haiti organization (http://cleanwaterforhaiti.org).  That organization has unique experience in building and installing biosand filters in Haiti.  The scope of this new project is to fund the manufacture, transportation, installation, and training for 1000 biosand filters, which will supply clean water for approximately 5000 Haitians. The biosand filters will be made in Haiti, by Haitians, for ownership by Haitians. These filters will be installed in Haitian homes and maintained by Haitian families.  Initial education and periodic follow-up visits by Haitian health educators are a very important and integral part of the project.


This proposed project for 1000 filters over a one-year period will require $70,000.  With a $20,000 Rotary District 6780 Grant matching fund and a $30,000 Global Grant matching fund from Rotary International, local Rotary Clubs and members will need to raise $20,000.  To date the three Rotary Clubs (Oak Ridge, Clinton, and Fairfield Glade) have committed support. It is hoped that sponsorship can be expanded within District 6780.


Please mail tax deductible contributions to: Rotary Club of Oak Ridge – Breakfast, P.O. Box 4164, Oak Ridge TN 37831-4164. Make checks payable to: Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club Foundation – Haiti Water Project. With matching each contributed $1.00 becomes $3.50 for the project.  Rotarians will receive Paul Harris Recognition Points for their contributions.


For further information about this project, please contact the project coordinator, Jim Palmer (ORBRC), at (865) 482-4809.