October 9, 2013 - 12:00am
After growing up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monterey Institute student Wesley Laine (MAIPS ’14) knows from experience what it is like to go without one of the most basic human needs -- access to clean water. Two years ago he started a project in the South East Department of Haiti to install gravity-fed water chlorination systems using a simple device. “I really wanted to do something about the cholera crisis in Haiti,” says Wesley. “The fact that it is now helping over 360,000 people means everything to me.”
In September, Wesley was flown to New York to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting; he arrived in New York from Paris, where he is studying during the fall semester at one of the Middlebury Schools Abroad as part of his program in International Policy Studies at MIIS. In his presentation about the Southeast Water Project, Wesley noted that the simple chlorination system has no moving parts and that a part of the project was to build local buy-in as well as training. He also noted that there are now “hardly any cases of cholera in the South East Department of Haiti.”
Wesley will be back in Monterey to complete his studies in the spring semester but he is making the most of his time in Paris, taking writing courses in French and a course on French politics, as well as studying international economics, macroeconomic analysis, and law. You can watch Wesley’s presentation in the “Expanding Cross-Sector Coordination in Haiti” session of the CGI annual meeting that included Laurent Lamont, Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti and the actor and activist Sean Penn.