As the only female machine operator at CASTMI water purification plant in the Haitian border town of Ouanaminthe, Makilise Joseph takes pride in her work. A good job is hard to find in Haiti, she says. A native of Ounamanthe, Makilise moved to Port-au-Prince in order to find work. She was working as a product inspector at a t-shirt factory when the 2010 earthquake happened. Her home collapsed, crushing and killing two young cousins inside. Now she lives back in her hometown and she is able to support her little boy and elderly father with the income she makes at the plant.
Run by a member of the Haitian Diaspora, CASTMI provides purified water to the public in bulk and individual sachets. CASTMI received a grant and technical assistance from the USAID-funded LEAD program to upgrade their facility with new equipment and move to a larger space. This allowed them to add bottled water to their product line.
Our water is the best," Makilise says with a smile. "I see how they treat the water with my own eyes and I’m confident in the process. I trust it.”
The local community relies on CASTMI for purified water.
"Life depends on water," says Jean-Louis Vicelot, a pastor at the Baptist church in nearby Huhaut. He visits CASTMI two or three times each week to purchase five gallons of purified water. If there wasn’t a space like this, he’d be treating the water himself, he says. In the past, he had to travel to Cap-Haitian. Now, its nearby.
“I feel so happy the region is developing," he says. "More people will be employed.”