Charity Aid Group Drills to Fill Haiti's Water Shortage

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Nearly every open space in Haiti has become a tent city. Basic necessities like water are in short supply.

In response, CBN's Operation Blessing International is tapping the ground to quench people's thirst and have enough water available for cooking and cleaning.

Just five miles into Haiti's border in the town of Fond Parisean, one camp of Haitian quake survivors are beginning the long, slow road to recovery.

Shannon Mulholland is with the American Refugee Committee, the organization operating the camp.

"Many of the people who are coming here have serious trauma and have been discharged from the hospital, yet they have no were to go," Mulholland said.

The group is providing families with food to cook and eat and tents to call home. Currently, there are 29 families there, but there is room for 40.

The Love a Child Orphanage, which owns the property, has workers clearing land so the recovery project can grow.

CBN News was on the scene as the 30th family arrived and was shown their tent. Hundreds more are expected in the next few days.

More people taking shelter here means more baths, more laundry and more need for water.

"This is not a typical situation, which you might see in the Congo or in a war situation - where a woman or a man can go and collect fire wood or put water on their head and walk around," Mulholland explained. "So right now, without water, we would not be able to sustain this at all."

One hand pump serves as the camp's only source of water. It may only be about 300 feet away, but as the camp grows from 40 tents to 400 tents, to more than a thousand tents, the pump will not be enough to meet the people's needs.

So Operation Blessing well diggers drilled into the earth to increase the camp's water supply and bring it closer to the people.

The sound of the drill was music to the people ears and the sight of the diggers at work drew an audience.

So far, the workers have dug 60 feet and they'll keep drilling until they reach water. It's just one less burden for Haitian people who are used to carrying a heavy load.

*Originally aired on February 5, 2010. 

Special Page:

Haiti Earthquake & Recovery

Giving to Disaster Relief:

Disaster Relief

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.