- Lastic Canyon Water Project
Report Spring 2016
been some time since I’ve written about
what is happening in our Haiti project. The System
Irrigation Lastic Fond-Parisien (SILF) has been
quietly (mostly) clicking along.
I made two trips to Haiti in 2015. In the first
trip in June, we did some surveying for other
groups to advance their projects, and we also
spent some time in Fond Parisien looking at the
system, planning upgrades, working on the budget,
and so on. While I was working around the system,
my sons hiked back into the mountains with several
guides to look for a spring whose piping system
has failed. This system, known as “Ti Source”,
or “Little Spring”, may become another
work project at some time in the future.
The second trip was in October, where I spent
my entire time with the system. The following
report is a compilation of the two trips.
The entire Caribbean has been in a drought for
several years. Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti & The
Dominican Republic, and other similar islands
have all been affected. In our area, the crops
irrigated by this system were about the only crops
for a number of miles. I would encourage you to
read the Associated Press article we are attaching
together with this report.
As is usual when I set down with our administrator,
Tazino, to discuss the status of the system, we
started with the ‘5 most pressing issues’.
This has become our standard way to start focusing
on what’s most important. During our discussions,
we added several more items, so we really had
‘5 plus a few more pressing issues’.
1. The committee has been using our Polaris Ranger
for transportation, hauling supplies
around, etc. This is not the right machine for
their use for several reasons. Nobody in the
area knows how to fix it, parts are not readily
available, and it’s not heavy enough for
it’s being used for. Zack Toews from Oriani
has been keeping it in good repair for us, but
expensive. We need to find a diesel 4X4 pickup
that will be more in keeping with the local’s
experience. $6000 - $7000 USD.
2. We rent an office in town, which costs us about
$1000 USD per year. It’s not very well suited
to what we do, and has no storage space for bags
of cement, rebar, tools, etc. The village fathers
have donated land to us right next to the police
station, and the committee has drawn up plans
for a small office and depot (storage place).
Having an official office in a
prominent place will also cement our status in
the community as an official, ongoing,
concern. This has been more of a concern to the
SILF committee than it has been to us in North
America. We might not realize the full extent
of the cultural ramifications of the difference
of being “official” and “unofficial”.
We have been hesitant to spend what amounts to
a number of year’s rent, but the committee
ranks this pretty high. Budget $±8000 USD
for 1st phase.
3. There are 26 farms across a small creek that
have been mapped, and water rights assigned, but
we need to build a flume across the creek to send
get water to them. $750 USD.
Maintenance & upgrades:
a. The main entrance hatch to the main cleanout
in the riverbed needs to be
strengthen and made easier to access for periodic
cleaning, and while it’s being
worked on, we might as well do the annual clean
b. The canal in the canyon that connects the
dam to the pipeline goes beneath a cliff that
was formed when we blasted the mountainside.
Debris is trickling off the cliff and building
up beside the canal. Soon the available space
will be filled, and it debris pile will spill
into the canal. Since this looks like it will
continue indefinitely, we need to cap the canal
and turn it into a tunnel. Then the debris can
continue to fall, and eventually spill off into
the river canyon.
c. The canal feeding the Le Femme district needs
repairs. It will take about 20 man days of work.
d. The fountain in Le Roche is giving trouble
again. We will try again to get it working right.
We developed budgets for the above maintenance
items totaling about $650 USD, which were approved
on a phone call back to the US. I left that money,
and most of the items are
completed. In addition, several other small items
have been repaired or upgraded. Most
recently, several gates were concreted into several
different places where the canals divide.
These will greatly ease the moving of water from
one area to another.
recently, a donor has come forward to assist with
the building of the Bureau, so we made plans to
start that in February. Once we ready to begin,
in typical Haitian fashion a dispute arose about
the ownership of the land that was mentioned above.
To avoid a prolonged fuss, a local farmer gave
us a corner of his field, and this work is progressing
along quite well. It is not in the heart of town,
but it is along a main road and well situated
relative to the irrigation areas.
happenings of significance
of the more exciting things that happened last
year was official registration of SILF as a legal
entity. This means we can now open a bank account,
and those kinds of things. Since the bank we deal
with has now opened a satellite branch in our
town, we can also do the banking without going
to the capital, and the risk of crime is much
have also been trying to get personal paperwork
done for approximately two years. As of June 2015
I now have a drivers’ license, and a NIF,
which is the rough equivalent of an American SSN
or a Canadian SIN. This makes some aspects of
life in Haiti a little smoother.
also started a census of another farming area
to the northwest of our district. We have
enough water to serve that area, and it is technically
quite feasible to get water to it. There is a
canal system there that used to be fed by a well
that is now defunct. If we can get water to the
canal system, it can be distributed to about 189
growers farming 245 acres. This would add about
50% to our land area, and the farms here are slightly
bigger than average across the system. Most of
this land is pretty good land, and we look forward
to including it in the system. In our last Board
Meeting we voted to make formal plans to connect
to this area, and to develop a budget. We will
work on this in the coming months.
We plan to start some formal meeting with the
community soon as an outreach program to help
them understand how the system works and the importance
of working together with the committee. This is
still not up to what we would wish.
are also exploring the idea of forming a farmer’s
coop that could purchase fertilizer in
quantity for better pricing, maybe help with marketing,
work at improving crop genetics, and
hopefully starting a micro finance program. We
have already been able to get an agronomist
involved to start a teaching program. Sometime
in the future the coop may even be able to own
a small tractor that could be used for some of
the heavy farm tillage, and take some of the back
breaking labor out of the system. If anyone would
want to be involved in this type of forward looking
projects, either with time or finances, we would
love to start a discussion about the opportunities.
to end the letter, the above picture is a field
of young papaya. The land owner has aged to where
he cannot farm this land, and has no apparent
heirs. SILF decided to rent it on a crop share
basis. The SILF employees work here on days in
which they have no other tasks. Since they are
all on salary, it really costs us very little.
They will share the in the crop, and some will
be sold. Much of the land has been put back into
production after the water started, but due to
various circumstances there is still about 20%
not being farmed. This might be one way that we
can get more land into production, and increase
employment in the area at the same time.
- Agua De Vida Orphanage
Images from the Volunteer Garden
By Roger Jantz
May 9, 2016
you visit the orphanages in Mexico they are all
saying the same thing. “We are being overwhelmed
with new laws, rules and regulations.” The
Mexico Baja California government has laid down
the law and there are deadlines to meet. These
new laws are being enforced by Fire Marshals,
Social Services, Child Protection and Health Dept.
There will be new record keeping, an office where
these records will be kept, each child will have
a personal physician, and a room for the doctor
to see the children privately. There must be a
visiting room with one-way glass for family visits.
And so the list goes on, causing much stress and
plan on helping where we can for the need is “great”.
We will continue to help at Agua de Vida, with
plans to construct a 30’ x 30’ building
for office, medical and visiting space. The cost
is approx. $35,000.
are also involved with a water treatment plant
at Shining Light Orphanage in Tecate, Mexico.
Approx. cost $15,000. This last winter we put
a garden in at Agua de Vida and also finished
the laundry room, installing 4 communal washers.
They are really enjoying the remodeled kitchen
and the new laundry room. Mario and Veronica Santos
are very thankful to all of Good News sponsors
for all the money, time and effort given to the
children of Agua de Vida. We at Good News also
say thank-you to God and all our loyal supporters.
We are a very “dependent” organization
first to God, our leader and director, then to
all of you, our givers of time and money. Without
you we don’t exist. So a big thank-you and
may we all send our monies into God’s treasury.
N Winton Way
Winton, CA 95388
2019 Good News Foundation International, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.