Freewaters footwear, which donates 1% of gross sales to clean drinking water projects, is excited to announce a new partnership with Project 509 on the successful expansion of a clean water project in Haiti.
Jesse Baker, Founder of Project 509, led a two-week mission in July delivering seven water filtration systems to the remote mountain villages of Pays Pourri. With sustainability being the main focus, Baker and his team gave each of these communities educational presentations on proper filter use, filter maintenance and overriding sanitation practices that help prevent disease.
Pays Pourri is a mountainous region in Haiti comprised of numerous villages with a population of approximately 20,000 where clean drinking water is scarce and water borne illnesses run high, particularly from cholera. Women and children regularly hike 2-4 hours round trip to collect water from streams that are exposed to contamination from animal and human activity.
Baker has a PHD in Environmental Policy/Sustainability and has been leading projects in Haiti since 2010. Baker notes, “Thus far, we have found water filtration to be the best method for delivering safe drinking water to this remote area. Digging wells is currently a non-option due to high costs, a lack of roads, and extremely deep water tables. Some villages have cisterns fed by rain catchment systems but these are unreliable due to their aging condition and poor design. Moving forward, we will integrate improved rain catchment into our project as it has the advantage of being captured and stored directly where people live and is far more likely to be run through the filters.”
Eli Marmar, Co-Founder of Freewaters, comments, “We are very selective in supporting clean drinking water projects that focus on sustainability and scalability. It’s an honor to partner with Jesse and Project 509 in doing this powerful work in Haiti.”
“Our most recent trip to Haiti has been the best personal experience of my career to date, as well as the most productive,” explains Baker. “We had great success delivering water filters to, and working directly with, people in extreme need and we are learning each time what makes every mission more successful than the last. I’m proud to be affiliated with a socially conscious brand like Freewaters that shares our passion for transforming lives with clean drinking water.”
Image courtesy Freewaters