Going "Bateys" for Filters

By Bob Chagrasulis, Rotary Club of Rotary Club of Farmington Maine USA  RD 7790

In the eastern Dominican Republic, sugar cane cutters and their families, largely Haitian immigrants, live in very primitive conditions and have many health concerns, including prevalent waterborne illnesses.  A recent Global Grant from Rotary International sponsored the purchase of 1560 Kohler Clarity water filters to provide potable water and to launch a new not for profit business to continue this WASH initiative in these communities.          

In March 2017 a team of US Rotarians travelled to the Dominican Republic to begin implementation of work approved in the Rotary Global Grant to provide Kohler CLARITY water filters to residents of “bateys” – sugar cane villages.  This was the first use of the new filter in the Dominican Republic, a grant funded program that will provide an initial 1560 filters to sugar cane cutters and their families. To learn more about the filter, visit:  www.clarity.kohler.com

Rotarian Cindy Richendollar (Rotary Club of Washurn Maine, District 7810) and Rotarian Bob Chagrasulis (Rotary Club of Farmington Maine, District 7790) were accompanied by Past District Governor Carolyn Johnson (Rotary Club of Yarmouth Maine, District 7780) and Abigail Kehr of the Kohler Company to La Romana in the eastern Domincan Republic. They worked with the Water Filter team of the Good Samaritan Hospital to provide 75 Kohler CLARITY water filters to families in three bateys:Maragua, Jagua Mocha, and Cinquinta.

A typical installation day involves the loading of the filters, travel along hard and dusty roads through the sugar cane to the batey for a hygiene education and CLARITY training session with the female heads of households, distribution of the filters to the recipients, and installation in their homes. 

During the project launch, twenty five CLARITY filters were installed in each of the three bateys.  In the following week, the Water Filter team technicians returned, to see that the filters are being used and maintained  properly and to test the filtered water. Post filter microbiologic testing of the water is done in the water testing laboratory at the Good Samaritan Hospital, provided in a previous Rotary grant.

The Water Filter Team travels daily to the bateys, with the goal to ultimately provide filters to all households on each batey and to incorporate neighboring bateys in need of water filters, where they likewise struggle with waterborne illnesses.

While in La Romana the visiting team presented the program and the Kohler CLARITY filter itself to each of the two Rotary Clubs: Club Rotario de La Romana, Rio Dulce and Club Rotario de La Romana, Incorporado – the host club of the Global Grant. Both Rotary Clubs were excited to participate in this initial installation phase of this new filter in the Dominican Republic.

This program may be visited on Facebook: Daniel Dominican Kohler Clarity Barett.  Inquiries may be directed, in either English or Spanish, to the Program Director in the Dominican Republic, Daniel Barett at dominicankohlerclarity@gmail.com  

Kohler Clarity will be a consul level sponsor of the WASRAG Summit in Atlanta GA June 9, 2017 and will have a presentation booth for CLARITY at the Summit.