Preparing the ground work
Haitian Worker & Children
It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it!
Working with the rebar
The drill team in Haiti thank
Bruce & Debra Vanderwees (Murillo, ON)
Richard & Alison McMullen (Thunder Bay, ON)

For building their capacity with East Equipment Wall


Dear Sponsor,

Thank-you so much for helping with the much needed work on the eastern wall. Due to your investment, the compound now meets Canadian construction standards. Even during earthquakes and hurricanes, the compound will be safe and secure, ensuring that the Haitian workers can remain focused on supplying safe drinking water to children and their families who need it to stay healthy. Thanks so much for your generous giving that made this critical work possible!

With much thanks,

The Lifewater Team

Project Summary

This wall serves two critical roles: it secures the far end of our compound to ensure that drilling equipment and supplies are not stolen, and it provides the retaining structure needed to create a level, workable yard on the side of a major hill.

This wall was built in 2016 by local contractors under tight timelines to enable the team to start operating out of the compound by the end of March. However, cost effectiveness and speed resulted in a sacrifice in several key areas. Local construction protocols meant that the wall and the compound were vulnerable to earthquakes and to hurricane winds and flooding.

The first issue was that the wall was built as separate segments adjacent to each other. During periods of high wind and rain, the lack of continuous connections meant that the wall segments did not provide support to each other, making them vulnerable to fail. To address this, the wall segments were tied together by adding an internal column between the wall joints, inserting heavy-duty rebar bands to tie the wall segments to the internal column, and then pouring everything together with a continuous concrete pour.

The second issue was a lack on internal drainage. During hurricane events, significant amount of rain can fall in short periods of time. Internal drainage works were added to prevent this water from ponding inside the compound causing soil to saturate and press against the wall. Heavy gauge well casing was perforated, glued into long horizontal lengths, and run in trenches against the wall just above the height of the outside terrain. The drains were covered with geotextile donated by a environmental company and flown into Haiti. The trenches were backfilled with gravel and every 20 feet vertical risers were installed to ensure that water would always be able to rapidly move down to the drains and out of the walled compound area.

The third issue was that to level the yard, in places there was more than 5 feet of dirt piled against the wall. This exerted considerable outward force on the wall, making it vulnerable to collapse during severe weather events. To balance these forces, internal buttresses containing 6 pieces of 5/8” rebar were built on large pads buried at the depth of the wall footings. This enhancement provides significant strength, offsetting the pressure of the soil loading.

Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!

457 Heather Crescent
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1

+1 807-622-4848
Email: Logo

Site map

Connect with us on facebook

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.