As a result of our research and direct interaction with the residents of Port-au-Prince’s Fontamara community, we have concluded that their greatest need is permanent and stable electricity. The 5500 residents living in approximately 650 to 700 houses, as well as many in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps, have been without regular electricity for almost ten years. There is no electricity during the day and very little at night. Through interviews and conversations with locals, friends and pillars of the community, it is clear that this lack of electricity has prevented Fontamara’s residents from living to their full potential.
Since 2003 the neighborhood’s triple pole mounted transformer has been dysfunctional. Haiti 155′s primary goal here is to provide electrical access to Fontamara by replacing the old transformers with brand new models. The dire need for regular electricity cannot be overstated. The streets are pitch black at night because there are no street lamps.
Solar panel lamp posts will be key in providing adequate lights on the streets, which by extension will lower the crime rate, improve education and raise the economy of the community. Without electricity the residents of Fontamara cannot move towards their goals and the young people’s dreams and hopes are literally blanketed with darkness.
Haiti 155 and Fontamara’s leaders recognize and agree that acquiring stable sources of electricity is the first step toward real community empowerment and a brighter future. For a firsthand look at Fontamara’s critical electricity problem as explained by the locals.