Marie-Maude Jerome lives in Village Rapatrier, a small community in Cité Soleil.
In her community, there is no sewer infrastructure or centralized sanitation; there are no gutters or no sidewalks; there is no security.
There is a large amount of standing water in the streets, making it impossible to drive to certain areas. Locals must follow footpaths or jump on rocks and garbage to avoid the stagnant, contaminated water. When it rains or floods the rainwater traverses across the city and into people’s homes, resulting in additional contamination and increasing the spread of disease.
Marie-Maude Jerome is 45-years-old and a mother of five. Her husband is 55. All five of her children are females, ages 25, 23, 20, 17 and 14. Her three oldest daughters completed some Secondary school, but none finished all of their schooling due to financial constraints, academic struggles and a variety of health issues.
Marie-Maude Jerome has two daughters still in school. The family is hopeful the two girls will complete their schooling to open up the doors for better opportunities in their futures. They are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen.
Marie-Maude Jerome sells and cooks food (rice, beans, and corn) and makes coffee and tea to sell. Whatever she can find to sell, she will sell. Her family needs the financial resources. But they also need to stay healthy. Clean water is essential for this to be possible.
“Having safe water drinking water is very important to keep my family safe from the illnesses regularly caused by our contaminated water,” shares Marie-Maude Jerome. Their water source is a hand dug well (pictured right). At the top of the well hole are tires to protect it as much as possible from surface contaminants. This is better than direct surface water, but it is not an improved water source.
Our team’s visit with Marie-Maude Jerome was not her first introduction to a clean water filter. In fact, she has a biosand filter in her home. It was given to her family by a nonprofit organization. The filter is not installed and is still in its original packaging. The accompanying buckets are being used for various storage purposes. The family did not attend a training program for the filter, there was no assistance with installation, and there was no follow-up.
Marie-Maude Jerome knows the Pure Water for the World program comes with both a financial investment and a commitment to participate in training and installation. She is excited and feels they are well worth it because the program is so comprehensive.
Marie-Maude Jerome will attend a training and hygiene education workshop, with a hot meal, and a monitoring team will check on the filter to ensure it is working correctly. A local, volunteer Community Agent will also be available to help her family with repairs and proper usage. She is grateful for this approach and can’t wait to get started.
“I would like everyone in my town to have a clean water filter to treat their drinking water!” – Marie-Maude Jerome, Resident, Village Rapatrier