World Water Partners in Haiti

by Curt Burnett on November 17, 2011

Last night I attended a meeting of the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders ( http://ewb-pugetsound.org/) held at a brewery, no less! It was my first meeting, and I was there to hear an acquaintance by the name of Patrick Cummings talk about his water-related trip to Haiti. Patrick is the director of an organization called World Water Partners, (http://worldwaterpartners.org/) a non-profit which originated with students at Seattle Pacific University. Their current emphasis as expressed on their home page is on Haiti:

The  goal of World Water Partners is to develop a viable model for unifying the thousands of organizations that currently work within the water sector of the developing world.  We believe that Haiti is a strong candidate for demonstrating such a model, because it has a relatively small geographic area and has hundreds of aid organizations that are not well unified or coordinated.

Patrick had visited numerous sites where World Water Partners has activities, and he brought back some very interesting images as well as a bit of video.

What I really appreciated about his presentation is that he didn’t sugar coat or oversimplify it. He made clear that the problems of getting water to people who need it in Haiti is more a political and cultural problem than an engineering challenge (and Patrick is an engineer). He cited the theft of pipe from the water system of a particular village as an example of the kind of difficulties that people there face. He didn’t have any quick answers, but the kind of realism he brought to us is undoubtedly a necessary first step.

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Robin Woodward January 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Patrick Cummings and his associates at World Water Partners have given us endless help in attempting to provide clean water for residents of Limbe’, Haiti where we have our headquarters. He is, as you say, creative, practical, and honest in presenting solutions to this sweeping challenge. There is no doubt but that in collaboration with organizations such as ours, World Water Partners will achieve its goal of clean water for the citizens of Haiti. Hand-in-hand, step-by-step.

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