Started in August 2011, this project will rehabilitate and expand the potable water system in the area around Sassier.  The water system has not been operable since the Hurricanes of 2008. The original system was installed in 2005; prior to that time, there was no access to potable water.

The project will have three Phases.  Phase I has three components: a) organizing a Water System governing committee that represents all of the villages that would be affected by the water system; b) hiring a water system engineer(s) to prepare a rehabilitation and possible expansion plan for the system; and c) doing some repairs to the existing distribution system that would get people involved in the project and be a visible sign of that something is happening.

The whole community is actively involved in the project, led by a Project Steering Committee is made up of 2 representatives from each of the 14 villages that will be served by the rehabilitated and expanded system.  There are 4 subcommittees to focus on the various aspects of the project. These include:  1) Governance Committee, focusing on the long term governance, operations and funding aspects of the system once it is completed;  2) Planning Committee, focusing on working with the engineer to  plan the rehabilitation and expansion of the system; 3) Motivation Committee, focused on organizing the community to give their support and participation to the actual work that will need to be done to accomplish the project; and 4) Communication Committee, focused on keeping the community informed about the project and its progress, particularly through community meetings that will be held throughout Phase I.

The Steering Committee will have two days of training in December on how to work effectively as a team and how an Association/Water Committee is structured and operates.   Since the community will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the water system once the project is completed, it is very important that the leadership is competent and has the skills necessary to keep the water system operating.

We expect the water engineers to provide a final plan and budget for the project by the end of January, after consultation with the Project Steering Committee.

We are pursuing funding for the whole project, which we expect to cost about $350,000 to $500,000.  A grant from Catholic Relief Services is providing a portion of the funding for Phase I.   If you have any ideas about potential funding sources, please let us know.