Bridges, December 4, 2020

TO HARVEST THE RAIN – Gros Morne, Haiti

“The sun took my corn, took my beans, my sweet potatoes, my plantains, my harvest!” laments farmer after farmer – meaning the rain didn’t come at the right time.  How can farmers outwit the rain’s unpredictability with climate change accelerating it?  How do they harvest the rain???

Mercy Focus on Haiti, our faithful collaborators, have financed twenty-eight of these 500 to 600 gallon water collection tanks in the Cressac neighborhood near our house.  These wonderful tanks have been providing families with water for a couple of years.  However, might there be a cheaper or more durable solution considering how much rain water is lost?

MFOH obtained an additional grant, provided coordinator, Alexandra “Alex” Fiefie, and identified engineers Johann Zimmermann and Jacquelyn Zook (JZ Engineering, Harrisonburg, Virginia) who volunteered their expertise and time to help answer that question.

Nineteen local masons participated in a five day, hands-on workshop in constructing cisterns with ferro-cement.  The masons built two cisterns, one 500-gallon and the other 1250-gallon, at the parish hen house using this new construction method.  On the first day Johann used slides from his cistern building in Nicaragua and Burkina Faso, but for the review on the last day, he showed our masons slides from their own work on the hen house cisterns.    

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