April 11 marked the official opening ceremony commemorating the completion of a new, groundbreaking water supply system made possible by the Haitian government, the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China and the International Cooperation and Development Fund of Taiwan (TaiwanICDF.) The new water system will reportedly supply safe and clean domestic water for over 90 percent of the area’s inhabitants.

In January 2010 a magnitude seven earthquake devastated Haiti and rendered about 1 million Haitians homeless, a number of which relocated from its capital, Port-au-Prince, to New Hope Village in Savane Diane. As a result, the need for accessible and clean water  increased exponentially, and the new system accommodates this need and serves as a sustainable, long-term solution. TaiwanICDF reportedly showed residents how to maintain and fix the system in the event that it breaks down.

The Taiwanese ambassador to Haiti, Peter Hwang, attended this special celebration, as did TaiwanICDF’s Secretary General, Tao Wen-lung. Wen-lung said the system would provide enough water not only for over 200 homes, but additionally for the village’s health facility, school and nearby agricultural irrigation needs. He described it as “a real godsend for local residents.”

In a video on the TaiwanICDF website, a local resident describes the arduous three-hour process he formerly endured to transfer water from a far-away source back to his home. Now, he has a quick and easy water source practically in his backyard. In the video, the resident also thanks TaiwanICDF for their instrumental role in developing and maintaining the system in his village.

China and Taiwan are hosts to numerous humanitarian organizations. TaiwanICDF is particularly focused on infrastructural and economic development for long-term stability in needy nations and regions, as well as technical cooperation, humanitarian assistance and international education and training. This type of maintainable, long-term investment in developing nations has provided a model by which helpful contributions in such countries can make significant long-term differences.

– Arielle Swett

Sources: ICDF, Taipei Times
Photo: Taiwan Today