Rainy season

26 February 2009

Rainy season started three days ago. Or perhaps over the weekend, while I was in the mountains resting and relaxing.

At any rate, the dominant element is water. It's been raining heavily for two hours. It's deafening. I can't hear the music on my computer as I type.

Today at the hospital, logistics told me we had a problem. A fairly big, serious problem, which took precedence over the meeting we were supposed to have about the logistics priorities for Solidarité in the weeks to come. Today's problem was the priority; the other priorities will have to wait.

The problem is: water. More specifically, the hospital plumbing and the hospital septic tank. Water backing up from the drains. Septic tank full every four days. Pipes exploding, because too much pressure, or not properly assembled. Apparently we might have to pump gray water into the yard on Monday because of the urgency of the matter. I don't quite understand it all. I hope it's just gray water, and nothing more toxic than that.

I do understand that we can't run the hospital without proper water available. Also required: a proper way to dispose of it, especially if contaminated with biological waste. Logistics told me that triage and the delivery room might not have running water while they try to get things worked out. Unfortunately, that is an indeterminate period of time, so we are trying to think of other ways to get water in, at least temporarily. I asked for more Purell from the warehouse.

And now, after two hours of downpour — the new hospital is on a plain — the logistician is going back to Solidarité. (As if 12 hours of work wasn't enough!) Flooding, he says.

I have commented before about Haitian culture being very church-oriented. Shops have religious names. Vehicles do, too. So do some people.

Our Haitian water and sanitation guy is called Dieupuissant (God Almighty). But I must stop making jokes about floods.