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AQUAPLUS: Water energy for life

Luogo : haiti, North America
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Budget totale: € 1.200.000,00 | Periodo: Da giugno 2011 A aprile 2015

Sintesi

IIl programma AQUAPLUS è un modello di buona prassi per progetti che riguardano le comunità rurali. Le principali linee guida di AQUAPLUS sono: motivazione, coinvolgimento e preparazione della comunità locale per il conseguimento di risultati duraturi che corrispondano alle necessità della gente per quanto concerne un difficile accesso all’acqua utilizzabile. La buona prassi AQUAPLUS si basa sulle seguenti direttive:
(a) Intraprendere ogni azione insieme alla popolazione locale,
(b) Uso di materiali e risorse umane locali, riducendo al massimo il ricorso a prodotti e operatori stranieri,
(c) Preservare e gestire i risultati conseguiti tramite comitati locali eletti e formalmente riconosciuti dall’amministrazione locale,
(d) Educare gli utilizzatori e preparare i futuri educatori che dovrebbero essere scelti tra i membri della comunità,
(e) Dare esempi di possibili sviluppi delle attività condotte ad altre zone della stessa regione,
(f) In questa sede presentiamo il caso della comunità rurale di Torbeck (distretto di Les Caye, Dipartimento del Sud, Repubblica di Haiti).
 

Partnership

Movement for the fight against Hunger in the World - Italia

Partner dell'iniziativa

MLFM nasce nel 1964 con il proposito di combattere la denutrizione e il sottosviluppo; ottiene poi l’idoneità dal Ministero Affari Esteri Italiano per operare in qualità di Organismo Non Governativo. La lotta alla fame e alla povertà diventano la mission dell’ONG: da subito sceglie di intervenire dove più necessario con progetti di sviluppo e non nell’emergenza. Portare acqua potabile è l'obiettivo primario, senza precludere con ciò interventi di educazione, sensibilizzazione e formazione. In 50 anni di vita ha agito su più fronti per la tutela dei diritti umani inviolabili, promuovendo soprattutto in Africa progetti trasversali in ambito idrico ed igienico-sanitario, ambientale ed energetico, sui temi della sovranità alimentare e della salute, con un’attenzione particolare verso bambini, donne e fasce più deboli della popolazione. Sul territorio italiano lavora per promuovere una cultura della solidarietà, favorendo l'Educazione alla Cittadinanza Mondiale.

AVSI Foundation, Milano - Italia

Partner dell'iniziativa

Humanitarian cooperation in low income Countries. Main AVSI concerns are: nutrition, health care, agricultural development;

Department of Food Environmental and Nutrtional Sciences, University of Milan - Italia

Partner dell'iniziativa

Research and teaching

Foundation Rotary Milan for Milan - Italia

Partner dell'iniziativa

Service verso la comunità

The AQUAPLUS program is a best practice model for projects aimed at supporting the development of rural communities. The main guidelines of AQUAPLUS are motivation, involvement and training of the local community to achieve sustainable and long lasting results. Here we present the exploitation of these best practice guidelines in the case of the rural Haitian community of Torbek (about 10.000 inhabitants), in the district of Les Cayes, South Department of the Haiti Republic. Any activity has been undertaken together with the local people and the achievements attained are preserved and managed by local elected committees, formally recognized by the local and governmental administrations. The “PLUS” that follows “AQUA” in the name of the program indeed stands for all the other actions that must be taken into account once the water supply has been provided.

1. Work together with the local people; preserve and manage the achievements attained through local elected committees.
2. Use of local vs imported products: building materials, equipments for the transformation of agro-products and practically all the human power came from local resources, including the food integrators prepared from local plants (Moringa Oleira).
3. Involvement of several partners in order to provide the required expertise for any specific issue, namely, operators who live in the project site (AVSI personnel), teachers from UNIMI –faculty of Agriculture; Rotarian volunteers of various professional expertise.
4. Overall control of the progress achieved by the local Rotary Club that provides local observers.
5. Involvement of the Governmental administration, which has recognized the AQUAPLUS program as a pilot project for similar activities in the rest of the country.
6. Activities take into account all the facets of the underdevelopment status of the local populace, namely: (i) preservation of the soil and water resources, (ii) improvement of agricultural practices, (iii) information and training, (iv) nutrition of the infants.
 

Improvement of Flour Production Locally Produced Machineries have been used and gathered in a Trasnformation Unit (UdT, see further) that is managed by a consortium of producers, under the guide of the local University
Involvement of local people Local Committees have been elected to manage the results of the AQUAPLUS activity, like water supply, transformation of agri-product, consortiums of producers
Production of food integrators Moringa Oleifera is an authoctonous plant that allows production of food integrators from Leaves, roots, and plowers. AQUAPLUS has undertaken a pilot plan to re-forest the territory with these trees that grow up very fast (3 meters in two years).
Selection of the CAEPA Board A local election day
The hydraulic network demands a management The local Committee, CAEPA, is being elected
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf A consortium is formed to gather manioc producers The transformation of manioc and cereals into flours and related product can now be performed in controlled conditions. A transformation Unit has been built by the AQUAPLUS projet to assemble the needed machineries.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf AQUAPLUS is a multi-partner Program AQUAPLUS gathers several partners with different expertises and roles in the project. This union is formally established.
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Sustain by the Haitian Government An endorsment letter by the Ministry of Agriculture for the AQUAPLUS activities

The rural Haitian community of Torbek lives in a region where water is not easily accessible for either domestic or farm uses. Floods, tropical storms and deforestation are the reason for a severe soil erosion that threatens houses and cultivated areas. The main crops are manioc, rice, beans, and bread tree, bananas and mangos being the most common fruits. However, most plants suffer severe pathologies and must be re-sewed. The poor hygienic conditions are responsible for a high level of fecal contamination of the air and the water streams. The quality of the agro-products is therefore rather poor and below the required standards for a wide range commerce. This is why the development of any commercial farm-to-fork chain is difficult and no substantial economic enhancement can come from the agricultural activities in this area. Finally, following a traditional local costume, newborn babies are breast fed for only two months, while their diet since the third month of life is the same as for adult people: this is why a large fraction of the infants below five suffers of chronic malnutrition, which produces a poor lifespan expectancy and body underdevelopment.
 

Archaic flour production Manioc flour is a basic ingredient of the Haitian diet
Chronical Malnutrtion in Haiti Images from a nutritional center of Les Cayes
Floods roads disappear
The Market A rural market in the vicinity of Torbeck. No higienic precaution keeps animals and food products apart. Insect and rodent infestation is the rule
The final product ready for selling Once baked the gallettes are piled up with no packaging
The need of clean water supply In spite of floods and abundant water streams, clean water is not supplied to homes
Traditional preparation of the "gallettes" open air baking of manioc gallette. No higienic precautions
soil degradation landscape of a deforested territory
soil erosion erosion of dikes of the river close to the cultivated fields
soil erosion erosion of river banks
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Malnutrition of infants Report about the malnutrtion in Haiti

Exploited activities:
A. improvement and extension of the hydraulic network: 20 km aqueduct, 45 fountains equipped with showers (males and females); 200 private connections; institution of local committee (CAEPA) for maintaining the infrastructures and managing clients;
B. education to exploit the soil resources10 UNIMI teachers, 4 students (2 Italians and 2 Haitian), 1 Haitian PHD student, 2 Haitian nurses:; meetings and seminars for the local farmers every third month for two years;
C. building and implementation of a transformation unit for the treatment of agro-products (200 tons/y of manioc tubers; 50 kg/d of packaged manioc tortillas and other bakery products spread on the local market);
D. improvement of the nutritional status of 600 newborns and pregnant women; meals enriched with dried moringa oleifera leaves supplied at the 3 nutritional center in Les Cayes area; information seminars for the pregnant women and post-delivery nutritional training;
E. consolidation of the soil versus the erosion through plantation of moringa oleifera trees all around the natural well that feeds the aqueduct.
 

Against soil erosion School children march to the aqueduct well to plant moringa baby trees that will consolidate the soil
Contrast of soil erosion Moringa oleifera grows very fast, attaining three meters in a couple of yeras. Its roots are suitable to consolidate the soil. Its Leaves are rich in protiens and antioxidants and can be dried and powdered to prepare a good food integrator.
Contrast of soil erosion in the name of EXPO and AQUAPLUS The Haitian volunteer wears and EXPO-AQUAPLUS T-shirt during the environment day to contrast soil erosion.
Contrast of soil erosion to protect the aqueduct The largest number of moringa baby trees has been planted around the aqueduct well.that is nowadays surrounded by deforested Hills.
Contrast soil erosion The Whole populace has been involved
Contrast soil erosion Plantation of trees has to follow rules: a density of plants is required to achieve the scope
Contrast soil erosion An environment day celebrate the engagement of the local populace in the contrast of soil erosion by planting Moringa trees
DEcoration of the fountains Another decorated fountain
Decoration of fountains The decoration material to decorate the fountains comes from the debris of collapse buildings afetr the 2010 earthquake.
Easy water supply The boy seems happy to avoid a mile walk to the river
Exchange of Students Haitian and Italian students have been exchanged
Food technology training The UNIMI teachersgave their support in training UDH students on simple food technologies.
How to use water Educational meeting about the use of water supplied thrugh the AQUAPLUS aqueduct and fountains
Involvement of local manpower Local artisans have been employed for all the AQUAPLUS activities
Management of the Hydraulic infrastructures The management of the aqueduct realized by AQUAPLUS is committed to an elected board CAEPA recognized by the regional (DINEPA) and national (OREPA) dministration
Not only fountains The riar of each fountain is equipped with gender separated showers
Official Inauguration of UdT The Haitian Cardinal Langlois at the inauguration of UdT: a major event for the city of Les Cayes.
Production at the UdT Preparation of manioc tortillas at the UdT following all the necessary hygienic precaution
Production of gallettes in the new UdT A much clean way to prepare the traditional gallettes. Compare this image with that reported at point "backgroud"
Public Education in practise Each fountain shows a plate reporting a sentence about the proper use of water. The sentences were selected following a public call adressed to the population. The legend in creol Language: "water is life let us preserve our fountain"
Public awareness The plate says: "whenever I pay my fees for water I preserve the aqueduct"
Rational Agronomy Improving agricultural practises is a major concern of the AQUAPLUS program
Supply of clean water 47 decorated fountains equipped with showers on the riar allow an easy supply of clean water
The CAEPA Board A meeting of the CAEPA Board in the presence of a member of the peer committee of AQUAPLUS
The CAEPA members The five CAEPA members have weekly meetings
The Transformation Unit (UdT) at UNDH One of the scope of Haitian project of AQUAPLUS was the building of a transformation uinit (UdT) accessible to the local producers of manioc and cereals
The UNIMI invovlvement Lectures, courses and seminar and practical training were held by the UNIMI Teachers on visit to UNDH
The consortium of manioc and cereal producers Local producers of manioc and cereals have formed a consortium to use the infrastructure (UdT) realized by AQUAPLUS within the campus of UNDH to transform the agro-products in flour and gallettes
Training of thelocal farmers Innovation in the agriculture practices is a major concern of the AQUAPLUS program that is being sustained by Teachers of the University of Milan (UNIMI) and local agronomists previously trained at the Universty of Notre Dame in Haiti (UNDH) with courses and seminars held by the UNIMI personnel
Training the local farmers A seminar devoted to local farmers at UNDH
UNIMI teachers 10 UNIMI Teachers have visited UNDH
UNIMI teaching at UNDH UNIMI Teachers have been also engaged in laboratory training
UdT Production Baking of galletes requires an open air heated plate, but other baked products require an oven
UdT final products ready for the market The final packaged UdT products (manioc flour and gallettes) are ready for the market. Each package reports the content and the relevant nutritional information, as well as suggestion to safely preserve the product. The benefits are shared among the members of the UdT consortium.
UdT plants The UdT Plants are grasping machines, mills, hydraulic presses, hot plates, oven, packaging machines, All of them come from local industries.
UdT production The UdT has been equipped with plants that allow sproduction of several kinds of flours.
Use of water for hygiene The plate says: cleaning will protect you and all the people around you"
Water supply: a conquest of the people Local populace feel these fountains as a property of the local community. Many of them have been engaged in the aqueduct and fountain works.
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx The AQUAPLUS Aqueduct The aqueduct covers more than 12 kilometers. 47 fountains (equipped with gender-separate showers) were built along the road. More than 200 connections to private houses
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx The AQUAPLUS Aqueduct The aqueduct map

• The families of the farmers enjoy a constant supply of clean water to drink and irrigate the fields. This service is managed by an ad hoc Committee (CAEPA) elected by the population and formally recognized by the regional administration (DINEPA).
• The producers of manioc and other cereals have formed a consortium for the use of the Transformation Unit (UdT) built on the campus of the local university (UNDH). The products are here suitably packaged and spread on the local market. The relevant profits go to the members of the consortium.
• The UNDH has signed an agreement with the University of Milan for exchanges of teachers and students and the development of a new educational line in human nutrition.
• 600 children below 5 and their mothers are fed with products added with integrators produced from the leaves of Moringa Oleifera, the cultivation of which has been undertaken in view of its use as a nutraceutical food ingredient.
• The soil around the well that feeds the aqueduct has been consolidated by planting trees of Moringa Oleifera.
• The Haitian Government has recognized the AQUAPLUS program as a pilot plan for the rural communities of Haiti.
 

Children care Hygienic practices for new born has been substantially improved
Children care Information and education is provided to the mothers with ad hoc seminars held by AQUAPLUS volunteers and trained Haitian nurses
Local farmers Periodic Meetings and seminars have been devoted to inform local farmers about the best agronomic practices
Local farmers The information meetings received great attendance
Local farmers families Clean water supply is a social conquest
Malnutrition of children Sometimes the father replaces the mother
Malnutrtion of children Suitably balanced meals have been studied and supplied to malnourrished children. The standard meal recipe has been integrated with powdered Moringa leaves
UNDH students Students selected to spend a 8 month stage at UNIMI have been previously met by a UNIMI teacher at UNDH
UNDH students at UNIMI Alexandra and Judite spent a 8 month stage at UNIMI
UNDH students at UNIMI Alexandra and Judite learn fundaments of the Chemistry of the soil
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Local farmers cooperative The Agreement to manage the UdT facilities will strongly improve the production and the transformation of agro-products

• 12 UNIMI teachers and 2 Italian students at UNDH for 1 month. 2 Haitian students stayed at UNIMI for 8 months; 1 Haitian PHD student should arrive in Milan to stay for 1 year. 3 Haitian nurses will spend a 3 month stage at UNIMI for a training on nutritional assistance.
• 3 AVSI volounteers manage the aqueduct works and the nutritional program.
• 6 Rotarian volounteers monitor the aqueduct project and the relevant private connections, and the decoration work of the 45 fountains by the 4-5 local artisans.
• 5 Haitians (2 males e 3 females) form an ad hoc committee (CAEPA) to deal with the administrative managing of the hydraulic network and relevant users.
• 20 local workers per month for 1 year were involved in manual works related to the aqueduct and the UdT building.
• The UdT plants are from a local enterprise (Atélier Camp Perrin).
• A plate with a message in Creole about the careful use of water decorates each fountain. The 45 sentences were selected by an ad hoc committee from all those proposed by the populace who responded to an ad hoc call.
• The AQUAPLUS 3 member peer Committee monitors all the activities.
 

AQUAPLUS volunteers AQUAPLUS volunteers living in Haiti have followed up each step of every activity, providing suggestions, help and education for the future local leaders
Haitian artisans In most of the AQUAPLUS activity the Manpower used came from the local people
Haitian nurses of the Nutrtitonal Centers Haitian nurses were trained and employed in the nutritional centers. Three of them will spend a three month training stage at UNIMI starting from October 2014
Haitian workers The hydraulic infrastructures demanded a large involvement of local manpower
Haitian workers 8 km tubing required a hard work
Haitian workers The aqueduct works included sedimentation basins
The CAEPA Committee The CAEPA board designated a President
UNIMI teachers 10 UNIMI Teachers have undertaken a durable cooperation with the local UNDH faculty of agriculture to improve the teaching quality and stimulate promising students to contribute to the future of their university

Main difficulties.
1. The local farmers have to be motivated to become main supporters of the activities, in view of future progresses they can plan by themselves. To overcome this difficulty it is of help to show that these activities imply economical profits.
2. Financial resources used without intermediaries: the direct payment of goods and salaries meets some opposition by the local establishment (either public or private), who perceives a loss of social power in such a practice. Once the principle of power delegation to committees elected by the people is accepted, such difficulty is overcome.
3. Actuation time. Local traditions and meteo/climatic conditions imply a substantial reduction of the real day work time. Flexibility of the overall planning allows some day or some week standby of the manual works, while activities related to the organization and dissemination can progress.
Innovation criteria: election of local committees. This method was proven to be effective to promote a real participation by the populace.
 

Damages after hurricane Cindy A tube was broken apart
Restoration work plan after hurricane Cindy Damages were repaired following a well defined plan and with the resources collected by CAEPA as fees payed by water consumers
Restoration works A new tube was put in place and secured. People received back clean water in the houses by 2012 Christmas.
Seasonal Hurricanes Floodis and violent winds after the passage of Hurricane Cindyproduced damages at the aqueduct tubing
../file-system/small/docx ../file-system/small/docx Complying with the local mentality Some subject was disappointed by the AQUAPLUS activities: the reason? They had not been included in the payroll after refusing a job offer. The story of Gerdo is an example.

Soil digging related to the water pipes and sedimentation basins implied a systematic check of the soil consolidation and the appropriate use of water for home and irrigation uses, so to reduce soil erosion and waste of clean water.
Plantation of Moringa and Bamboo trees along banks, dykes, and around wells followed the UN criteria suggested to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. The use of Moringa Oleifera, which is an autochthonous plant in Haiti, allowed matching such consolidation effects with the availability of food integrators to add to the local products. The improvements achieved in the agronomic techniques led to a better reliability of traditional crops of manioc and rice, reducing the post-harvest losses. The better hygienic conditions within the transformation unit (UdT) allowed preparation of more stable products suitable for a commercial spreading. To this respect, a great advantage came from the UNDH-UNIMI cooperation and the related exchange of teachers and students.
 

People involvement People was deeply concerned about saving the AQUAPLUS results.
People involvement AQUAPLUS promoted the awareness of environmental issues
Soil consolidation Many persons took a part in the moringa day: some thousands moringa oleifera baby trees were planted around the aqueduct well
Soil erosion Besides the consolidation of soil by planting new trees, some consolidation works were carried out to protect river banks

The direct participation of the local populace characterized all the activities. This holds for:
• Hydraulic web and fountains,
• Information and training about irrigation and cultivation techniques,
• Plantation od Moringa and other trees to consolidate the soil,
• Information and education for a proper nutrition of infants, after-delivery and pregnant women.
The elected local committees, the public events, such as the plantation of Moringa trees around the aqueduct well (realized with the concourse of the populace, including the students of secondary schools) during an environment-preservation day),
The official inauguration of UdT in the presence of the major civil and religious authorities (the Haiti Cardinal, the Haiti representative for EXPO2015, the Haitian ministry of agriculture, etc.), reflect the impact of the AQUAPLUS program on the local community and justify some confidence about the continuity of the results achieved and the expectations of support by the local administration.
In line with this, a great expectation comes from the preparation of qualified personnel thanks to the UNIMI-UNDH cooperation.
 

New products and new ways of production UdT is a major AQUAPLUS benefit. It is promoting new enterprises including the spread of transformed products on the local market.
Soil consolidation and a nutrition support The cultivation of Moringa oleifera is very promising. In two three years significant benefits are expected
Water supply A compthrough 45 fountains and some hundreds private connectionslete water piping network provides clean water
Water supply Water supply is a services that demands paying fees. These are the resource used by CAEPA to preserve the infrastructure and provide restoration works when needed.
Water supply The elected committee is nowadays a recognized authority to manage the water resource provided by AQUAPLUS
Water supply The AQUAPLUS aqueduct is now a resource felt as own by Haitian
../file-system/small/docx ../file-system/small/docx AQUAPLUS activities are in line with the National plan of development Moringa plantation became a national issue. The AQUAPLUS project is seen as a pilot plan to be reproduced in other regions of the island
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Association of agro-producers The formal Agreement that defines the use and the scope of UdT is a strong support for future economical growth

The AQUAPLUS program and its Haitian implementation has been presented at the Haitian governmental authorities, at a conference held at the Haitian embassy in Italy (Rome, July 2013), in view of its presentation at EXPO 2015, in occasion of the EXPO 2015 International Partners meetings (in 2013 and 2014), at the International Convention of Rotary (Lisbon, 2013, and Sydney,2014). 5,000 brochures, in English and Italian, have been distributed in these occasions. Many fund raising events allowed the organizers to collect more than 100,000 Euros. The project was financially supported by the Municipal Administration of Milan (200,000 Euros), UNICREDIT (150,000 Euros), The Rotary Foundation (400,000 Euros). Many presentations of the project were given in the Milan area, but also in Switzerland and Germany thanks to network of involved Rotary Clubs. A motivational film was produced, thanks to the cooperation of the well-known Israeli artist Emme. This and a comprehensive photo-gallery are included in the website of the program, http://www.perniceeditori.it/Aquaplus.

AQUAPLUS at Rotary meetings AQUAPLUS stands and booths were organised at various Rotary meetings at national and international level
Convegno del 16 Ottobre 2014 Presentazione del progetto AQUAPLUS alla Società Umanitaria
Convegno del 16 Ottobre 2014 Presentazione del progetto: programma
Press involvement Articles appeared on Italian and Hatian press
Public Relations AQUAPLUS has been presented in many public events, like the EXPO International Partners Meetings
UdT inauguration In May 2014 the UdT was officially inaugured in the presence of many national authorities and the participation of the Haitian Cardinal Langlois
UdT official inauguration The official inauguration of UdT has been an event of national interest in Haity
Inauguration of UdT speach by Alberto Piatti, president of AVSI, a partner of AQUAPLUS, addressing the attendants among whom the Hatiian Cardinal Langlois.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf A meeting at the University of Milan An Haiti day was organised at UNIMI to present the results of the cooperation with UNDH. The coordinator for the Haiti pavillon at EXPO 2015 was present.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Formal appreciation of AQUAPLUS The Haitian Government formally appreciates the AQUAPLUS activities
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Involvement of HAiti Government The Haiti Embassy organized a meeting devoted to the participation at EXPO 2015. AQUAPLUS was formally invited to contribute to the works
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx The world wide Rotary network is a dissemination tool AQUAPLUS has been presented in a number of Rotary meetings, at national and international level. This is a typical presentation.