Reusing earthquake debris to rebuild Haiti
Gera, a young pregnant woman living in the hills of Carrefour-Feuilles in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is much relieved that the rehabilitation of the alleyway leading to her house has been completed.
Before that, “it was impractical moving around in the neighbourhood and going to the hospital, especially for pregnant women,” she says.
- Eighty percent of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble from the earthquake have been cleared from the streets.
- The programme has helped more than 20,000 people find temporary jobs, nearly 40 percent of them women.
- More than 11,000 displaced families returned to their neighbourhoods of origin, leaving behind tents to start a new life.
The rehabilitation of sidewalks in Carrefour-Feuilles is part of a UNDP-supported pilot project that is repurposing debris from the 2010 earthquake for the construction of disaster-resistant houses, roads and riverbank protection structures.
More than 20 percent of the debris is recycled to make tiles, stairs and paving stones. So far, 80 percent of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble from the earthquake have been cleared from the streets through Haitian initiatives with the support of the international community. The joint UN debris management project has contributed to the removal of one million cubic metres. This programme has helped more than 20,000 people find temporary jobs, nearly 40 percent of them women.
To enable families repair and rebuild their homes themselves, UNDP has established community support centres in four neighbourhoods of the Haitian capital and in the city of Léogâne. Thirty thousand people benefitted from the initiative and over 1,000 families received US$500 dollar-grants to buy certified quality construction materials to repair their homes.
These grants were made through the project’s innovative money transfer scheme via mobile phones, the first ever implemented in support of housing repair efforts. Nearly 7,000 people have been directly trained on practical issues related to safe repair and construction of houses and on urban planning and land tenure law in Haiti.
Through the Government’s “16/6” project, supported by UNDP and other partners, internally displaced persons camps were closed and more than 11,000 families returned to their neighbourhoods of origin, leaving behind tents to start a new life. The initiative focuses on the safe return of displaced families while boosting economic opportunities in affected neighbourhoods, by creating income-generating activities, improving basic services and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises.
“The rehabilitation of this alleyway has greatly improved our way of life,” says Gera in Carrefour-Feuilles. “When it rains, students can now go to school without dirtying their shoes, and children can also play football.”