"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousnessa will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep toa those he loves.
On January 25th I visited Pestel and the island of Cayemites. On my visit to the island I was accompanied by Dr. Philippe Seneque and the Mayor of Pestel.
After 1 hour trip by boat from Pestel to the island and a very long walk to the "only" existing water source in the island with a population of 21,000. The water source is an open shallow well with a constant visible quantity of 2000 to 3000 liters of water and is located in the village of Fontas. This well serves a total of 10,000 people in this village and the neighboring village of Boucan Philippe. This well is over 100 years old and it never dries. During the approximate 30 minutes I was at the well conducting tests and talking to the residents, over 30 people came to fetch water and each one carried a 5 gallon bottle or bucket on their heads for 300 to 400 meters to their homes. The majority of the people carrying water were girls from 11 to 16 years of age. I did not have equipment to test the recovery capacity of the well but according to the residents using it for years, they say the well always maintains the same level and it overflows during the rain season.
The terrain throughout the island is mainly rocky and the only usable water source is this well. The other existing option is to truck water to Pestel and then by boat to the island. This option is very expensive and out of reach for the poor people living in Cayemites island.
Dr. Seneque said that 20 cases of cholera have been confirmed in the island and this statistic is increasing. It is assumed it comes from the water source but I am certain it comes also from the great lack of hygiene found in the island.
I observed the school children passing by singing a song about washing hands to avoid cholera but their little hands were very dirty and they were eating without washing the hands while touching everything can could.
While we were at the water source Dr Seneque received a phone call with two cases of severe diarrhea which he believed it was cholera. This call was coming from the other end of the island. He told them to put the sick people on the boat and take them to Pestel for treatment. Cayemites island has only a very small clinic with one nurse.
While we were in the island there were also two Cuban men doing fumigation of homes and other open areas to apparently disinfect and kill germs as they said.
After completing the assessment and the water tests, the bacteria test shows high contamination, conductivity is 950 and turbidity is 1.34
An additional note to keep in mind is the city of Pestel. We were unable to assess the water situation there but I received information that their situation is precarious. There is not water sources in Pestel and the water they use is solely from rain collection. The water is of course very contaminated due to the ways it is collected. Their water has never been treated and only now because of the cholera epidemic, the UN delivers water to the hospital only.
Let Go and Let GOD
Water Missions International
Changing Lives Through Sustainable Water Systems