Water Project for Haiti works in the Artibonite Valley in central Haiti, about 60 miles northeast of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The area is mostly rural, with the large cities of St. Marc to the south and Gonaives to the north. While there are no recent official statistics as to the size of the Artibonite's population, with the quickly growing population and the influx of displaced people who sought refuge with family members in the valley after the 2010 earthquake, there are estimates of between 1.5 and 2 million people living in the region.
Due to the availability of water, people living in the valley are primarily farmers, and grow crops of rice, corn, tomoatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans. The Artibonite River runs from the Dominican Republic through the valley with a series of irrigation canals transporting water from the river throughout the valley. Because of the high water table, hand-dug wells are often seen. While residents do not have a shortage of water, the quality is very low and the many people are forced to use contaminated water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing clothes.
The biosand filter project is limited to a geographic area that goes west to the town of Pont Sonde, east to the village of Matino, north to Ti Riviere, and south to St. Marc so that installed filters can be properly serviced.
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