By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
---- — CLINTON — Iowa Rotarians are helping provide clean water to Haitian communities.
Nine $11,000 hand-pump wells will be built by Water For Life, a non-profit entity maintained by a family-owned well drilling company in Kolona. Clubs in Clinton, Muscatine, Tipton and West Liberty each donated $1,250 to the project. Another Rotary Club in Fairfield donated $5,000.
Former Clinton Rotary President Norlan Hinke said the $10,000 eventually grew to $25,100 after the group received a Rotary Foundation District 600 matching grant. An additional matching grant brought the total to $45,150.
Water For Life requires a sponsor organization to provide 45 percent of the necessary capital. The non-profit organization will pair $55,000 with Rotary’s contribution.
“With just $1,250 of what the Clinton Rotary contributed, we have been able to multiply this to over $100,000,” Rotary Assistant Governor Mike Ruby said. “That is going to make a huge difference. And it is just a lousy $1,250 per club, that has made a life-changing difference.”
Water for Life coordinators Leon and Joy Miller attended this past week’s luncheon to show Rotary members what they had purchased. One well can serve 350 people and 50 livestock.
He added that 51 percent of rural Haiti residents have access to improved water.
Leon expects to start drilling the wells in January. The actual drilling takes one to two days, with the entire project taking almost a week.
“To hear all the money that’s been raised already, that’s amazing. That’s a miracle from God,” Leon said. “It takes more than just a couple people. It takes a lot of people.”