Water Works: Three LEAD Businesses Focused on Water in Haiti

Fewer than half of Haitians in rural areas have access to clean water.

Evidenced by cholera infections that have claimed thousands of lives, clean water is a major development challenge in Haiti. Water scarcity and water-borne diseases are among the leading causes of death, and they exacerbate child malnutrition, causing interference to their intellectual and physical development.

The Haitian countryside is generally served through piped water systems or water points with hand pumps. However, a substantial portion of these systems are not operational due to lack of funds for operation and maintenance. Besides interventions from the international community, a growing number of private companies are providing water to those who are able to afford it. A gallon of drinking water costs 22 gourdes ($0.34 US cents), and a five-gallon jug costs about 40 gourdes ($0.62 US cents).

PADF is supporting several water treatment businesses as part of the USAID-funded Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program. Below, we feature three LEAD grantees and their water-focused work.

Dlo Haiti/Ovive

Dlo, commercially known as Ovive, was the winner of the second Business Plan Competition organized by LEAD in 2014. With LEAD funding, the company was able to expand regionally, lower its production costs and offer affordable drinking water to the local community.

Dlo offers an attractive and clean environment at their kiosks for their clients. At night, they even allow students use their solar lamps to study. In addition, the enterprise provides clean drinking water to over 60 schools, benefitting over 10,000 students through their program "My school, My water." Through this program a school can purchase a year’s supply of water for each student at the low cost of 60 gourdes. To date, Dlo Haiti has created nearly 600 jobs and generated more than half a million dollars in sales.

CATSMI

Through the LEAD business plan competition, CATSMI was able to expand its operations and comply with international standards. With technical assistance from USAID and PADF, the enterprise has grown into one of the biggest water treatment companies in northern Haiti.  With help from a LEAD partner, the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA), CATSMI will soon receive specialized technical support. Since the launch of their new plant, they have created over 100 jobs and generated over $700,000 in sales.

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Industrie Kayimit S.A. (IKSA)

IKSA is a water treatment processing center based in Saint-Marc whose main activities are the production and sale of bottles of drinking water and ice cube bags. Their treated water and ice are branded “Blue Heaven” and sold in a variety of sizes.

With funding from LEAD, IKSA was able to expand its operations by adding additional lines for the production of bottled water and ice.

The company has already created over 500 jobs and generated over $500,000 in sales this quarter alone compared to $60,000 last quarter.