HAITI BEFORE & AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE IN 2010
The Caribbean island nation of Haïti is very familiar with weather-related disasters. The country had not yet recovered from the catastrophic storms in 2008 that left a thousand dead and up to 1 million homeless when a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on January 12, 2010. The massive tremor was the most powerful to hit the country in 200 years.
Before the earthquake more than 70% of people in Haiti were living on less than $2 per day and 86% of people in Port au Prince were living in slum conditions - mostly tightly-packed, poorly-built, concrete buildings with no access to latrines and only one-third had access to tap water. After the quake there were 230,000 people dead and over 180,000 homes damaged or destroyed.
As the challenges continue to mount, it is clear that this small underdeveloped island state which is of the poorest in the world will require assistance of people and nations from around the world for a long time to come.
The homes being targeted in this program are located in the mountains surrounding the capital city of Port-Au Prince . These areas were heavily damaged by the earthquake buthave been largely neglected by government programs and large NGOs.
The Pilot Phase of the program began in February 2012. In the Pilot Program, which has now been completed, six homes were repaired or rebuilt. Using lessons learned from the pilot program plans were developed for a new earthquake resitant home design that could be used in the Production Phase of the program. The Production Phase began with the construction of the first two production homes in the Spring of 2015.
A PARTNERSHIP IN DEVELOPMENT
The Conejo Compassion Coalition has entered into a partnership with Rebati Kay–la, a small NGO based in Port Au Prince, to rebuild homes destroyed in the recent earthquake. This project will work with individual families offering a tailored package for each family depending on what they will needfor a completed house.
Rather than being just another massive government rebuilding program, the Rebati Kay-la approach is based on the way that Haitian people do things, rather than imposing processes and values from the developed world. If homes are being constructed or repaired in a given area, families are encouraged to work together in what is called “Kombit” - a concept akin to that of barn raising, wherein communities work together to complete the homes. Our goal is to build a spirit of mutual support and cooperation in these communities that will continue long after the homes have been rebuilt.
Implementation of the program will be the responsibility of a local Haitian Community Organization called l’Association pour l’Entraide et le Développement des Communautés Haïtiennes, which loosely translated means “The Association for Mutual Support and Development of Haitian Communities”.