I have a new additional job responsibility. The water tanks, quantity, quality and leaks have now been assigned to me. The two previous holders of the job were fired and I am on probation for the next few weeks. The job involves climbing the stairs to the third story tower 3 or 4 times a day to check the quantity, add chlorine, make sure the tanks don’t get too low AND don’t overflow.

The tanks

Climbing the 51 stairs is good exercise BUT climbing Haitian stairs takes good concentration and muscle memory. They build their steps 6” high instead of the standard 7”. AND instead of a landing at a turn they make triangular steps AND shorten the height to 4”.

“Oh me nerves” It’s an obstacle course!

The Haitian stairs.

The view from the summit however is worth the climb and the quiet. The Artibonite Valley is lush and beautiful.

The View

The water quality is very good. It is pumped from a well into four 4000 liter tanks on top of the water tower/storage depot. From there it is gravity fed to the various building and the school.

Water mains to the compounds

The first morning I checked the quantity we had lost/used 1000 liters overnight. That’s a lot of toilet flushes!! On further investigation there was a tap, shower and toilet in the staff washrooms with serious water leakage. I estimated 50 plus liters/hour! A quick trip to the plumbing depot for supplies and I started repairs. Actually it wasn’t quick and it wasn’t A trip, it was 6 trips to 3 stores over 2 days before I had what I needed. Two shutoff valves, new toilet tank hose, new shower tap and new water tap all installed and leak free.

Plumbing store in Liancourt.

Those jobs are done but there is still leakage in the girls’ home shower and at the school and somewhere else as yet unfound.

For Joan and I and the visiting work teams we drink bottled water. We were supposed to go to Liancourt on Monday to have the bottles refilled. Unfortunately there have been road blockages and demonstrations the last couple of days which prevented teachers and kids from getting to school and us from getting water. We have enough for one more day and then the HATS boil water advisory goes into effect for us.

You can view more on the demonstrations here:


Stay tuned.