Posted on Mar 18, 2022

“Our dream is to bring potable water and good sanitation to the entire country of Haiti. Water is essential for good living conditions and the people of Haiti deserve to have it. Rotary is proud to be an integral part of this venture to partner with the government and other agencies that have the expertise to create a transformational program for the country.” – Barry Rassin, Rotary International President 2018-19



HANWASH (Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy) is a collaborative national initiative to provide thoughtfully managed and sustainable clean water and sanitation to all citizens of Haiti, along with the associated health, community and economic benefits. The initiative is led by Rotary District 7020 and DINEPA (The Haitian Government’s National Water and Sanitation Agency), along with other non-governmental organization (NGO) partners, such as Haiti Outreach and Pure Water for the World.


Half of Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure is simply not functioning. The country has been a frequent recipient of aid funding, most of which sadly only focuses on creating relief providing temporary fixes to the problems that exist rather than building the systems necessary for the country to function. The end result of “aid funding” is this: A survey of 1,096 water kiosks and 2,266 water fountains by DINEPA in 2013 showed that more than half of existing water kiosks are out of service and only 58.4% of existing water fountains inventoried are functional. Haiti Outreach in 2004, stated that over 40% of wells are non-functioning. A sustainable solution is needed for Haiti that can serve as a blueprint for other developing countries as well.
As Haiti work towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6), they need partners to help build the systems that will move the country forward. This will stabilize the rapidly changing political climate in Haiti and is a significant reason why the HANWASH initiative is needed and the reason why so much time and effort has been invested in building a resilient relationship with the Haitian Government WASH agency DINEPA, along with its Directeur General and Team. Despite political changes, HANWASH’s relationship with DINEPA remains strong.


The intention of HANWASH is simply to facilitate the creation of safely managed access to financially sustainable, potable water and sanitation to every household in Haiti. More specifically, by 2030, HANWASH would ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all through:
  • Universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water
  • Access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene
  • Long term commitment and engagement of local communities to support and strengthen improvements and management
This task requires a “systems” approach, not simply creating infrastructure, but establishing a framework of accountability, responsibility and transparency that works to enroll partners and create clear lines of authority and responsibility that result in technically sound, revenue
positive, safely managed infrastructure.


Safely managed systems for WASH require that many partners be aligned on the roles and responsibilities necessary for infrastructure to function reliably. This includes Rotary leveraging its advocacy to bring partners to the table: DINEPA operating as the regulatory authority;
OREPAs (Regional Offices for Drinking Water and Sanitation) acting as regional implementation and monitoring partners; the municipalities as elected bringing a mandate to improve systems in their communes; and NGOs serving as implementing partners. With this in mind, we created an approach that connects these diverse partners and allows us to begin creating partnerships with these actors.
HANWASH will focus on systematically increasing access to sustainable managed water, initially in seven of Haiti’s 145 communes, with the aim of expanding the program across the whole of Haiti once it is shown to be successful. The seven pilot areas are the Communes of Cavaillon, Ferrier, Terre-Neuve, Pignon, Leogane, Les Cayes and Croix des Bouquets – representing at least one commune in each of the four OREPA regions. Each commune is matched with a Rotary club in the area and a Rotary International Champion District.





This is a 12-year, multi-billion dollar endeavor to bring clean water to an entire country of Haiti and you can make a difference and have an impact in making that happen. Get involved in one of the ways outlined below or visit to learn more.
  • Be a Rotary HANWASH District Champion to partner with us on Global Grants for the four pilot projects and the many that will follow (more information outlined below)
  • Get your Rotary club or district involved by contributing District Designated Funds
  • Volunteer your professional or technical skills for planning and implementation on the ground or as a HANWASH committee member
  • Introduce us to possible partner corporations, other non-governmental organizations or foundations
  • Direct fellow Rotarians or anyone you know who may be interested to the website to donate or volunteer
  • Coordinate your Haiti water project with HANWASH if you have an existing one in place or are planning one
  • Sign up on our website to receive our newsletter and stay informed on this transformational project
  • Look for our booth at the Rotary International Convention House of Friendship
Work alongside the HANWASH Steering Committee in a particular commune to drive the HANWASH Initiative forward:
  • Design, structure and implement a local, regional and global marketing campaign to focus on:
    • Promoting HANWASH goals, structure, program and specific projects
    • Generating funding for HANWASH generally and for specific projects.
  • Leverage the resources of Rotary at a club, district, zone level to achieve the above as well the resources of RI and TRF.
  • Identify fundraising targets for specific grant funded projects
  • Identify an annual fundraising target for HANWASH to include all aspects of its operations including administration.
  • Work with the Grants and Finance Subcommittees as needed to budget and monitor fundraising versus these targets.
  • Alongside the HANWASH Marketing and Communications Committee, Investigate and adopt all appropriate marketing channels including web, social media, e-blasts etc. and manage those media.
  • Working with the Funding Partners Committee, investigate and recommend the various fundraising channels including TRF grants, DAF’s, crowd funding and partner funding.
  • Become a part of the HANWASH program on the ground by participating in their in-country project visits