Tanya Benedict, PhD, CPH
Electricity for 52 Homes in Process
A recent visit to Batey Dos saw many initiatives coming to life and a population eager for new possibilities. The children continue to receive healthy daily meals and we are feeding between 50-65 children daily. Dr. Huascar Rodriguez and Redline Dorsavil (Nurse) continue to oversee child nutrition and welfare and all the children seem to be thriving and growing as they should.
The children are healthy, and multiple initiatives are currently in process to improve their quality of life. The largest is the addition of 3 solar panels atop the kitchen which will provide a single lightbulb to 52 homes. This is important because three serious fires from household candles have occurred in the past 5 years destroying about 65 homes in the community. The last fire resulted in the death of one of our children, a two-year old girl. The plan is to build this system and allow each household to pay back the money without interest over time. When that money is replaced, another project can commence.
The development committee within the Batey will determine what reasonable monthly payments will comprise. They will also manage, apportion, maintain, and regulate the new system. Now the community has a safe way to garner electricity and access to capital without interest which they can build on and expand for future projects.
In addition, we are beginning minor repairs on the kitchen (maintenance) and are seeking to rent about 30 acres of land for the community to grow and sell food from. These multiple initiatives are all aimed at self-sustainability over time, always led and managed through the development committee of the Batey.
Dr. Rodriguez, in collaboration with the Creighton water quality program continues to monitor and test water sources in the community for parasites and other pathogens. Dr. Michael Miller, Associate professor of Chemistry and Director of this program has been essential in collaborating with us about the quality of the water in the Batey. We thank Dr. Miller and all his students for their work! Chemistry in service to others.
Submitted by Thomas M. Kelly, PhD
May 22, 2022