Local woman provides clean water for Haiti

Haitians go about their daily business in a crowded market square.

Tammie Martin is a world traveler for all the right reasons.

She has ventured to Africa and Haiti for volunteer work, and is planning a two-week return trip to the earthquake-devastated nation in July.

Martin will leave July 21 and will join 27 other people from across the country for a project called Clean Water for Haiti. The project aims to provide water filters for Haitians who don’t have access to potable water.

The team will install Biosand filters, which are made in Haiti, and use gravel and sand to purify the water poured into the device. According to cleanwaterforhaiti.org, the filters purify at a rate of about 5 gallons per hour and can remove up to 99 percent of all microbes.

Haitian people have a dire need for clean water, Martin said.

“What they have is mud,” she said, adding that some locals use polluted water from ponds shared with chickens and other animals.

Martin and her group will install 30 water filters for schools in an area known as La Vallee de Jacmel. Each water filter system costs about $150, and the team is still collecting money.

Metro Brokers of Colorado West, Martin’s employer, already donated one filter for the cause, and Chick-fil-a will host a Spirit Night on July 1, with donations supporting Clean Water for Haiti.

In addition to installing water filtering systems, the team will interact with the locals, work on construction projects and teach locals how to grow food.

“We will help them help themselves,” said Martin, who also has planned art projects for the children, many of whom are excited by the prospects of glitter and glue.

Despite the hardships of living without the comforts of home, returning to Haiti was never a question for Martin, who became attached to the people she met.

“I love the passion of the people there,” she said. “They don’t want our sympathy. They’re a proud people.”

Anyone interested in experiencing the people and culture of Haiti can still volunteer with Clean Water for Haiti, Martin said. Her group hopes to expand to 60 volunteers, and interested parties can register “up to the last minute.”

“It’s an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience,” Martin added.

Anyone interested in joining Martin’s Clean Water for Haiti team or donating to the cause can call her at 216-3374.


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