Twenty water systems in Haiti installed by Living Waters for the World (LWW) — a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — will be converted to solar power.

At least 10 of the 20 clean water systems installed in Haiti over the last five years were destroyed in the Jan. 12 earthquake,LWW Director Wil Howie told the Presbyterian News Service in a Jan. 25 interview during the synod meeting in Nashville. More than $1,500 was collected for LWW at the synod’s worship service.

“The co-moderators of LWW’s Haiti Network arrived in Haiti today to assess our systems there,” Howie said. “All the systems that need to be replaced will be solar-powered,” he added, noting that electricity, transportation and fuel will be unreliable in Haiti for the foreseeable future as recovery moves along.

“Once the destroyed systems have been replaced with solar-powered systems, we’ll convert the extisting systems to solar,” Howie said.

Since 1995, LWW has installed 326 clean water systems in 24 countries. More than 1,000 people representing 34 states have been trained to install the systems and teach partners in host countries how to maintain the systems. “Training, equipping, sustaining — those are our partnership goals,” LWW moderator Joanie Lukins told the synod. “These water systems are no good if they’re not sustainable.” She said LWW’s efforts now include “sustainability subsidies” to help maintain systems once they are installed.

Howie said the Synod of Lakes and Prairies voted over the weekend to support LWW.

PC(USA)-backed hospital in Leogane to be rebuilt with PDA help

Hôspital Sainte Croix (Holy Cross Hospital) and an affiliated nursing school in Léogâne, Haiti, have been approved to receive a $200,000 grant from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).

The grant request was sent to PDA by email on Jan. 22, and was approved within two hours. The hospital and nursing school are ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and have been a major focus of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission in Haiti. Léogâne is near the epicenter of the Jan. 12 earthquake and both facilities sustained serious damage.

“We’ve been told by our Episcopal partners in Haiti that despite the damage, the nursing school began operating as a makeshift hospital within a half-hour of the quake,” said Randy Ackley, PDA coordinator. “In addition, nursing students have established 10 first-aid stations around the main part of Léogâne. The people on the ground are working hard to help one another and this grant is one way we can support their live-saving efforts.”

News media have reported that 80 to 90 percent of the buildings in the main part of Léogâne were destroyed. The PDA grant will support electrical power and distribution needs, water and sanitation facilities, fuel for generators and vehicles, and salaries for local staff involved in the cleanup.

PDA is accepting donations online; by phone at (800) 872-3283; and by mail: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

To date, more than $1.2 million has been gived to PDA for relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.