Rotary Club Okanogan/Omak

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2011 Clean Water for Haiti

Partnering with Rotary Clubs in Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Okanogan-Omak Rotary Club is helping Haitians have access to clean, safe water for drinking and personal hygiene. Buckets containing water filtration systems are on the ground in Haiti, saving lives.

The timing couldn't be better because one of the orphanages Rotarians are planning to visit just learned their well water is contaminated – one child has died and all the others have diarrhea. Several of our filters will be placed at that location, saving lives.

The club budgeted $5,000 for an international water project in 2010-11. It would be the club's first foray into international service projects in a number of years.  It made more sense to piggy-back on a successful project underway than to face the steep learning curve involved in applying for grants, developing contacts with Rotarians in the host country, and risking failure.

"We contacted District 5060 for help in locating good candidate projects already underway," said Club President Bob Goodwin.

"From those identified by District, the Wenatchee and Leavenworth clubs' Haiti water filtration project fit the bill perfectly."

"We hope to learn from this experience so that our club can undertake a project on its own in future years," Goodwin added.

Haiti, the poorest country in our hemisphere, is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that hit on Jan 12, 2010, killing almost a quarter million people and leaving six times that many homeless.