Festival for Clean Water
Imagine going to the grocery store and seeing 3 different types of water, drinking, cleaning/cooking, baby formula. And then imagine having to decide if you’ll have one of these three options and having to cut a large portion of your grocery list, or not having clean water. This is the unfortunate reality for many people in Haina, Dominican Republic, one of the world’s most polluted region.
On June 24, 2023 the No Boss Project coalition hosted a festival to raise funds to support Haina’s activists. The No Boss Project consists of Accion Hainera , Brandworkers, Come For Ever, El Hormiguero, International Art Solidarity, The Anarchist Book Fair, The P.I.T., and XFR Collective. The group was founded earlier this year and aims to motivate and mobilize local artists to support social justice projects.
Accion Hainera USA is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by immigrants from Haina, a municipality of Sancristobal in the south region of the country. They started out by providing some necessities to the community, such as clothing and shoes, and even personal hygiene products. As the community and Accion Hainera grew more intimate, more issues came to the surface. Accion Hainera began providing safe, clean, and free parks with basketball courts. Seven years ago after becoming a pillar of the community they embarked on their most difficult project yet, potable water for Haina.
The battle for potable water has been on going for 7 years and is at the brink. With government officials inaugurating phantom aqueducts, selling of the few clean water sources to foreign companies, or pumping to the capital, the Haineros are tired. Sporadic marches and strikes have started to form. Some folks take to the streets to blockade trucks that are carrying of their water by burning trash. Yet, for an already hurting community a sustained strike with wide support is nearly impossible. That is why the fundraiser festival has been organized, in hopes of raising the funds needed to support a sustained strike in Haina and neighboring communities who are also suffering. The fundraiser held at the P.I.T. hosted a slew of classical Latin music provided by Jim Mchugh’s, the P.I.T., owner, personal collection of vintage records, and even the emerging Paterson Silk Sox, a string band, performed. Here’s what Yolanda, a founding partner of Accion Hainera, has to say,
“The residents in Haina go for weeks at a time without seeing a drop of water and have to buy water for all their needs and constantly have to make choices of weather to buy food or water. People are crying out for help because they can’t deal with this issue any longer. In the last two months, eight neighborhoods in Haina have been protesting by striking on the issue and demanding the construction of an aqueduct. For this reason, we are soliciting your support and solidarity so that Accion Hainera and No Boss Allies can have the necessary funding for the massive strike that can cause the impact we need to get the attention of the government and all that would be affected.”
-Yolanda Santoni, Co-Executive Director of Accion Hainera
The Festival was able to raise over $500 to support the strike efforts in Haina. You can make a donation through our Instagram or the P.I.T.’s Venmo. Follow Accion Hainera on Facebook to stay updated on the fight for clean water.