In January 2020, Jack McNamee returned to Port au Prince, Haiti to work with Fr. Rick Frechette and a team of Haiti Tec students, instructors and alumni on the installation of the drinking water treatment system at Cité Soleil. The reverse osmosis system was donated in 2017 by an Italian relief organization but had remained unused in a cargo container due to a lack of technical expertise. After working their way through checkpoints run by local gangs, they arrived at the facility that was designed to serve thousands of residents that live in makeshift housing most with no electricity or plumbing.
Soon after arriving, the team realized that installation of the reverse osmosis system that would provide drinkable water for the residents and medical clinic would have to wait even longer. The pump which was providing untreated wash-water from the highly saline aquifer had been broken since September 2019 and needed to be the top priority.
After five days of work, Jack and his team were able to replace the well pump, replace several hundred feet of pipe and install two water storage tanks. Within minutes of turning on the new pump, dozens of residents began to line up for water that would be used for bathing and cleaning (photo above).
The team was also able to determine the infrastructure and materials that will be required to get the RO system up and running. While it will cost several thousand dollars, once it is completed, it will provide thousands of gallons per day of safe water for the clinic and its neighbors.
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