Mission Brief – OPN Simbi Simbi (also Simba, Simbe, Simbi Andezo) is a Haitian spirit guardian of the fountains and marshes who cannot do without the freshness of water. Written by John Kolm for Rockville Rotary Situation Rockville Rotary Club, in partnership with some other Rotary clubs, built a school in the town of Bossier, Haiti
in 2011, in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. The school has been extremely successful, and now has 200 students and a full-time faculty. The Soleil (Sunshine) school is supported by student sponsorships and its independent financial operations are stable and sustained. In the process of establishing and then taking pastoral interest in the school in the years since 2011, Rockville Rotary his built permanent and close friendships with the people of its host town, Bossier, Haiti. Bossier is located on the far Southwest tip of Haiti and has a population of around 2000. It was at the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake and has been largely rebuilt since.
In recent months, the water table in this part of Haiti has lowered, leaving all the available wells and natural springs dry. There is now no local water in the town of Bossier, and no prospect of the water table returning to its previous state. Villagers are currently relying of the forbearance of a neighboring town about 3 miles away, with a walk to and fro each day in order to collect water from the deep well still working there. This is a non-sustainable, short-term solution that is already encountering some understandable resistance from the neighboring town.
What the town of Bossier needs urgently for its survival is an artesian well. Only an artesian well will reach the depth required to produce safe and reliable water, and as a bonus, the tectonic pressure within such a well lifts the water to the surface. This removes the need for pumping and a constant power supply, both very difficult in this remote part of Haiti.
Mission Rockville Rotary will manage the fundraising and installation of an artesian well in the town of Bossier, Haiti. The cost of the well is $USD 10,000, most of it for testing and final drilling. The end result will be a pressurized spigot at ground level that produces adequate amounts of highly reliable and good quality potable water which can sustain the village of 2000 people – and our 200 school students – indefinitely.
This is urgent because the village of Bossier is without water now. In the absence of a well, and in 100+ degree temperatures, people unable to make the long daily walk - or who run out of water – are using tainted groundwater supplies for cooking and drinking, and the risk of disease is very high. Restoration of a local source of potable water is of the highest urgency. Local freshwater is also by far the best protection against the spread of epidemic diseases like Cholera.
Execution A proven local contractor for the artesian drilling and establishment of a wellhead has been identified. Work can commence immediately, and the next few months offer an excellent weather window. Once funds are available, the well can be drilled quickly and the resulting supply of drinking water to the 2000 people of Bossier will be immediate. Rotary badging and PR for this project are welcome and the Soleil foundation will help with imagery and reporting.
Any questions Rockville Rotary will need to once again master the current status of the international grant system, and probably to identify other Rotary partners in order to meet the target. This work should begin immediately. As with the successful school project, this project will again be partnered with local 501(C)3 nonprofit The Soleil Foundation, which is still under its 2011 CEO, decorated former U.S. Navy Master Chief Paul Cormier. The Soleil foundation is based locally in the town of Bossier and is a proven and trusted partner with Rockville Rotary, with which we built the existing school and have managed it ever since.
Check Once Rockville Rotary has officially adopted this project, work can begin at once.