The community of Lafiteau, Haiti, was not always an entrepreneurial success story.
When Water Mission first commissioned a safe water project serving more than 7,000 people in Lafiteau four years ago, the group of community leaders who form the town’s safe water committee needed some time to figure things out. Transitioning the management of a newly implemented system to the safe water committee is an essential part of every project — but it doesn’t happen overnight.
Our staff provides training on operations, financial management, and hygiene promotion over the course of each project to foster long-term sustainability. While initial installation costs are covered by Water Mission, community leaders must learn strategies to effectively manage the ongoing costs of the water system.
After the commissioning of the water project in Lafiteau, community leadership continued to strengthen, and the committee began discussing ways they could use safe water to serve their neighbors — a living example of Water Mission’s core values of love, excellence, and integrity. The committee carefully saved revenue from the project in the community bank account, and after one year, they came to our staff with a proposal.
The leaders had saved enough money to construct a second water storage tower that would allow them to provide safe water to surrounding communities, expanding their service area. Water Mission agreed to build the tower, and now, the project receives near-constant traffic from employees of nearby ports and factories. Lafiteau’s committee has increased the number of people they serve with safe water, as well as the income they collect via small water usage fees.
Their entrepreneurial spirit has also empowered other local businesses. When our team stopped to eat at Lafito Grill on their way home from visiting Lafiteau, the owner shared that she buys her safe water from the Water Mission project, which is about one mile from her restaurant. The water is sold at a very reasonable cost, she explained, and she knows it is safe because of the consistent and careful water quality testing.
The committee hopes to further expand services in the future, potentially supplying water in bulk to nearby housing projects. We look forward to seeing all that the Lord will continue to accomplish in Lafiteau!
Read more stories of lives transformed by safe water.