The Rotary Club of Richmond Hill recently announced the completion of an 18-month-long, matching-grant international relief program to provide clean, safe water to the George Washington School in Chalet, Port–de–Paix, Haiti.
Brice Ladson, Richmond Hill club president, said that the Sunspring water filtration system was stuck in customs for many months, and the program was forced to switch locations for the installation.
But now, the filtration system is providing up to 5,000 gallons of clean water per day to 630 schoolchildren from ages 3-18, as well as staff.
The $23,140 project was completed with funds from the Richmond Hill and Port-de-Paix Rotary Clubs, as well as matching funds from Rotary District 6920 and the Rotary Foundation in Evanston, Ill.
The filtration system is entirely solar-powered and requires little maintenance.
The United Nations Special Envoy reported that 16 percent of deaths of children younger than 5 in Haiti were directly related to waterborne diseases before the 2010 earthquake. The number now is higher as a result of the earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak.
“A member of our club, Dr. Amy Pearson, inspired this important project through her multiple charitable trips to Northwest Haiti for life-saving surgical work,” Ladson said. “I would also like to thank other Rotarians who served as members of the International Service Committee, including Tina Scott, Byron Atkinson and Vance Askew, for their help and support.”