By providing potable water to disadvantaged neighborhoods in Haiti, we expected that the residents’ lives would improve. They did, however an unlikely and unfortunate consequence presented itself; if people needed to collect water at night, how would they do so safely? There have long been reports of armed robbery and sexual assault (as people in Haiti call “kadejak”) at communal water stations.
Our solution was to install lights that would illuminate the area around the water tanks, so as to deter would-be criminals from committing crime and negatively impacting others’ lives. These lights don’t even require electricity, as they are solar-powered, and automatically come on at night.
The last solar light we installed serves the community of Trou-Sable, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Until recently, nearly everyone would return home before dark and not leave until the morning. Thanks to this light, the residents of this community are now working at night, going to school at night, and selling goods at night. Safety in the area has increased by around 60%.
Now the community is experiencing a revitalization in productivity, especially among young people. They have more options. The residents living in the vicinity of this light have expressed their gratitude to us for helping to make their neighborhood safer.
–The International Action Team