First river crossed

After being slowed down by torrential rains in May, the river crossing was completed in June.

River Crossing

Concrete encasement for river crossing

The concrete encased pipes are built as a concrete beam when crossing the river and is supported by concrete pillars set in the river that serve as caissons.

Concrete encasement and beams

Concrete encasement and beams crossing river

A water system can cost hundred of thousands of dollars and needs to be built to survive hurricanes and earthquakes. Locally produced gravel and concrete are used with proven construction techniques for these conditions.

Closeup of reinforced concrete for river crossing

Closeup of reinforced concrete for river crossing


Torrential rains hamper work at river crossing #1

Normally, the lack of rain is hardship but when capping a spring, it’s a blessing. NW Haiti has been a five month drought but this has helped the spring capping at Source Lanon to proceed.  During drought from November 2013 to the end of April 2014 a lot of work was done on the pipeline and spring capping. The effect of the torrential rains that eventually flooded the work in progress at the first river crossing is shown below.

Flooded trench

Flooded trench at the first river crossing

It took repeated attempts and digging out and cleaning up to get concrete and pipes across the river.

Draining flooded trench

Draining flooded trench

Notice the concrete forms barely sticking out of water.

Flooded concrete encasement

Flooded concrete encasement

After the trenches were drained from the rains,  the pipes were covered in concrete for the  river crossing.Pipeline from Source Lanon


Pipe ready for concrete at Source Lanon

The pipe is ready for concrete near Source Lanon. In the photo below, notice the
marks from jackhammer on the rock walls. This is one of the things that made the spring capping such a challenge. In some places near the source, the men had to  jackhammer the trench five feet wide and fourteen feet deep in rock while in other places had to dig in dangerously soft and wet ground.

Jackhammered trench

Pipe laid near the spring source in a trench dug entirely by jackhammer

There are no big concrete mixer trucks in this region of Haiti. Concrete is mixed in small machines and transported into the trench bucket by bucket.

Pouring concrete around pipes near Source Lanon September 2013

Pouring concrete around pipes near Source Lanon September 2013


Spring Capping at Source Lanon to Start Soon

The spring at “Source Lanon” (pronounced “soose lan on”) is the largest spring in NW Haiti that has never been attempted to be capped. Currently, the people of this region get water from holes dug by the side of the river, a hand pump at the spring and from surface water at the spring (shown below).


The nearest village is Foison and it’s residents suffer greatly from the hardships, diseases and risks associated with unsafe water. Since the 2010 earthquake in Port Au Prince, those risks now include cholera. Once cholera gets in the ground, it can travel several feet and remain there for months. Getting water from hand dug wells as shown below is reality for the people of Foison. It’s risky but they have no alternative without the spring fed water system from Source Lanon.

Women and children getting daily water

Getting water from hand dug wells by the river

With enough funding to get started and run pipe to the first couple fountains, work on capping the spring at Source Lanon is scheduled to start in 2013. The spring is a difficult one to cap and much concrete will be used to cap it and channel it down the battle zone for distribution to the many villages downhill from the spring.

Source Lanon Spring and Foison Village Landscape

Source Lanon Spring and Foison Village Landscape