Habitat for Humanity Haiti has recently completed a successful training of a team of 19 people from the community of Canaan, located north of the capital of Port-au-Prince, in the repair and maintenance of solar powered streetlights. Studies have shown that the addition of streetlights can reduce crime by up to 36%. Prior to this initiative, the streetlamps that were installed by Habitat for Humanity and its partners would fall in disrepair due to a lack of qualified workers bale to service these areas. As such, the installed streetlamps, put in place to ensure that these streets did not remain in the dark after sunset were not properly maintained.
The training was done by Habitat for Humanity in conjunction with a local partner. After learning from similar projects in other areas of Haiti, Habitat for Humanity decided to empower a group of individuals by giving them the knowledge they would need in the maintenance of these solar powered streetlamps. The goal is to help create a pool of qualified workers in every community where solar streetlamps are installed.
At the end, each participant received a toolkit containing everything they would need to maintain and upkeep the solar powered streetlamps. Participants ranged in age from 20 years old, to more senior members of the community. One young woman from the community who took part in the program, Ruthiana, shared her thoughts with us. Ruthiana, who is studying to become a civil engineer said, “It’s important for me to understand how these solar streetlamps work because they help my entire neighborhood; now, if one of them breaks down, I will be able to help my community by fixing it.”
Through this solar streetlamp project, Habitat Haiti has partnered with the community to continue promoting a safe environment for the community of Canaan. We intend to continue with this model, training members of the community in the maintenance of solar powered streetlamps, in other areas throughout Haiti.