Vital water filtration systems installed in Haiti

Vital water filtration systems installed in Haiti with help from Knoxville church members

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By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

BOUCAN CARRE, HAITI (WATE) - Members of Sacred Heart's Haiti Outreach Program are not the only ones helping the people in Boucan Carre, Haiti.

Church members have teamed up with other churches in Knoxville to help the people there.

For the past three years, Diane and Harlan Richards from Church Street United Methodist Church have given their time to make sure the people in Haiti have clean water to drink.
  
In a recent trip to Haiti in June, Ben Johnston, general chairman of the Haiti Outreach Program, got a look at the new water filtration system that was recently installed at the Catholic primary school.

This system provides clean water for the more than 1,000 children who attend school there.

"There's a series of three filters," explained Harlan Richards. "First, one to filter out trash. We say bugs, fish, leaves, whatever. The next two are filtering out germs of various sizes."

Three years ago there was only one water filtration system in Boucan Carre. Today there are four.

Harlan and Diane Richards were key in getting the water filtration installed.
    
"They have been a real godsend and blessing," said Johnston.

The Richards had been in Haiti the week before. They asked Louis Gude, who lives in Boucan Carre, to operate the systems.

"They stay in touch on the Internet," said Gude. "They show me some information and teach me, and after that I'm able to run the system."

Back in Knoxville, the Richards explained why they continue to help.

"We really feel their need," said Diane Richards. "We can see their need and they really want the water now. They want filtered water now."

"I think it's doing God's work, and as Diane said, we've developed friendships with the people there," said Harlan Richards. "While we do not have data that says fewer people are getting sick, or fewer people are dying, we are just convinced we are doing good."

The Richards have already been to Haiti five times, and say they do not plan to stop coming anytime soon.

Each water filtration system costs roughly $5,000.

They Richards say they plan to check up on the systems on the one and two year anniversaries of the installation of the systems. They also have plans to build even more water filtrations systems in Haiti.

They say they have been overwhelmed with the support and donations from the people at Church Street United Methodist Church.

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