March 15, 2018
It has been a little while since we updated you on the status of the well and where we are at as far as water solutions. But, we have by no means been idle. Here is a brief recap of developments over the past several months:
1. The well:
In order to test the quality and quantity of water in the new well drilled on Lemuel’s garden land, we pumped the well hard for several weeks. The water held steady for some weeks, but then rapidly decreased from about 30 gal/min to 6 gal/min. This was disappointing, but perhaps not surprising given some the particulars of where we found the water. On a positive note, however, the water level lasted longer and recovered faster than expected. After some time had passed, we began pumping it again, and the water level was back up. It is currently pumping 12-15 gal/min, and we are using it to water the garden. And it is looking amazing! It is just loaded with pumpkins, plantains, papayas, pigeon peas, beans, and corn, all at various stages of growth. They have also planted many coconut trees and hundreds (yes, 100’s) of papaya trees.
Our dream for this piece of land is that it would be an example of what our area CAN produce. We want it to become a local source of fresh produce and a project that creates jobs. We have lots of big plans, and are moving forward step by step. It is a joy to see the growth and fruit happening there!
We are grateful for the water from the well, but the fact of the matter is: it is simply not enough. So, we realize that we will be in the water trucking business for some time to come.
And, we have a new water truck!! Brothers and longtime Lemuel friends, Donnie and Dennis Keeney, found a perfect deal on a Mack truck. They outfitted it with water tank and trash pump, and it is currently sitting in the Haitian docks waiting to be released from customs!
This truck is far better suited than our current trucks to handle the weight of the water on our terrible roads. We are excited for its arrival!
3. Other Water Solutions
The water problem is large and complex, and the solutions must hit it from many different angles. Therefore we continue to be working on the following aspects:
1. Water and a piece of land in a nearby area called Ti Karenaj.
This is where we currently buy our water and then truck it to the Plateau. This community sits right over a very large aquifer that comes down from the mountains. About a year ago, a connection we have in that area approached us about helping them with a new well. We are currently considering helping them obtain a generator and pump for the well. In exchange, they have offered to sell us a piece of land that we can use as our own garden. In addition, we will be able to get as much water as we like from the new well free of charge.
2. The backhoe loader, aka The Tractor Project (for those of us who don’t know how to distinguish large machinery)
This project continues to be on-going. Just yesterday, Rick, Brad, and Williamso were in Port-au-Prince investigating availability, as well as what type of professional maintenance would be available to us once we have obtained a loader. We are still collecting funds toward this project, and the community continues to await the arrival of the loader with eager anticipation.
One of the first things we will do when it arrives is begin the rehabilitation of what was once a local “lake.” Over years, it filled in with sediment, and no longer holds water like it once did. It is often dry, and when it does have water, it is more like a marsh.
If we can dig it out again, we anticipate that it could hold rain water run-off for at least a year or two!
3. Water filtration
Brad, Rick, and Williamso are currently on their way back to the Plateau after checking out a water filtration system in Mirebalais. This type of system was brought to our attention by a friend in Canada.
We also are investigating the possibilities for a reverse-osmosis system.
And there you have it! The river of the Well Project has divided into many branches. We will continue to keep you updated as things develop.