LOCATION. The Bayonnais valley is a remote location in the Artibonite Region of Haiti and is home to approximately 80,000 people. Unfortunately, it is a struggle to access basic life services and resources, such as nutritious food, clean water, sanitation, electricity, healthcare, and education.
PARTNERS. Our primary partner organizations are OFCB Ministries (OFCB) and Friends of OFCB (Friends). OFCB is a Haitian-based organization that is dedicated to influencing positive and progressive change within the Bayonnais valley. OFCB has established and operates a school and medical clinic in the region. Friends is an organization based in the United States dedicated to developing and empowering the community of Bayonnais by supporting OFCB projects and goals.
La Couleuvre Bridge Project (July 2016)
Current Project: La Couleuvre Bridge Project (July 2016 – Present)
The Bayonnais Valley of Haiti is rural and is primarily accessed via a dirt road to the main highway. This dirt road is made dangerous or completely impassable during times of even moderate precipitation due to high water levels at a river crossing near a community called La Couleuvre. The community of La Couleuvre, which translates directly to "the snake", is so named because the river, which generally flows to the southeast, passes between a pair of steep hills which forces the river into a series of turns, including a right hand horseshoe bend, both legs of which are forded by the road.
In dry conditions, the crossings run only a few inches deep. However, water rises quickly during rains, and water levels can vary by several feet over the course of a few hours, bringing traffic to a halt, and preventing community access to education, livelihood, commerce, and medical care. Drownings are not uncommon, and in September of 2013, several teachers employed by EWB's partner OFCB were washed downstream in OFCB's school bus on their way home from school. The teachers were rescued, but the bus was a total loss.
EWB-SFP is partnering with OFCB to design and construct a pair of vehicle and pedestrian bridges that cross the La Couleuvre River at the two main river crossings. A dedicated team of volunteers has been working diligently to complete the bridges’ designs, and to prepare for construction. The superstructure design is nearly complete, and abutment/foundation design is underway. Furthermore, the team is fundraising with the goal of raising a minimum of $60,000 by the end of October 2017. The team plans to have a completed design and sufficient funds in-hand to start construction late 2017.
Bethesda Medical Clinic Feature - CBS Interactive (March 2012).
Projects in recent history -
Medical Clinic - Centre de Sante Bethesda de Bayonnais (2010-2015). In the Bayonnais Valley, access to professional medical care is extremely limited and building a medical clinic has been a long-standing community priority. In 1999, OFCB purchased the land where the clinic has been built and sent its first student on scholarship to be educated and trained as a medical doctor in Port-au-Prince. After years of planning and preparation, construction of the medical clinic began in July 2011. EWB-SFP haiti designed, facilitated, overseen and advised OFCB during the construction of the 3,000 square-foot medical clinic structure, including the building water supply and plumbing, a 10-kW solar photovoltaic power and electrical system, and a waste and sanitation system with latrines. The clinic has been operational since 2013 and provides basic healthcare services to the Bayonnais Valley, including dental care, pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, labor and delivery, and prenatal care.
School Electrical System (Since 2005). The OFCB school educates about 2,000 students from the preschool through highschool education level, and provides them with a daily meal. EWB-SFP Haiti delivered, upgraded and maintains the 4-kW solar photovoltaic electrical system that provides electricity to the school.
Bridge (2006 - 2008). The Bayonnais Valley is connected to the rest of Haiti through a single dirt road, which seasonly floods and cuts off half of the valley from the outside world. The road crosses through the Bayonnais River, which becomes completely impassable during the rainy season, splitting the community into two parts. EWB-CU at Boulder designed and built a bridge between 2004 and 2006 to solve this problem. During flooding in 2008, the approach to the bridge was damaged slightly, but the bridge survived and minimized the impact of the enormous flood. The bridge has since been repaired.
SPONSORS. Special thanks to our sponsors:
- ENPOWER Corporation
- Weiss Associates
- Bechtel Corporation
SUPPORT. If you would like to contribute and/or be involved please contact the EWB-SFP Haiti team Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.