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Haiti - Reconstruction : The debris are there for very a long time
09/09/2010 11:51:33

Haiti - Reconstruction : The debris are there for very a long time
Mountains of rubble lining or invade the streets, a National Palace in ruins, buildings half destroyed, roads cracked, broken pavements, today almost nothing seems to have changed since the last January 12, as if the time had stopped. According to the latest revised estimates for Port-au-Prince we are talking about 25 million cubic meters of debris which only 2% were removed 8 months after the earthquake.

All stakeholders: government and national and international agencies, are uniting to say that debris removal is a priority, but the reasons for which so little has been made are complex and frustrating. "In the government, there does not exist any interlocutor named and responsible for this task. There is no master line" said Eric Overvest, Director for United Nations Development Programme in Haiti "after the earthquake, the first priority was clearing the roads, the easy part", but today "the heavy equipment must be shipped by sea. Trucks and machinery have difficulty driving in that chaos, the land problems seem insurmountable, the government can not tell who owns a property, who owns land, where deposit debris, some of which are chemically contaminated and other contain human remains [these remains having to be the subject of a discharge in special zones]. You can not destroy a building or move debris without the consent of owners..."

USAID and the US Ministry of Defense spent over $ 98 million to remove 882,000 cubic meters of rubble. The cost of shipments of heavy equipment by sea, the rare grounds where these remains can be deposited are rented or sold at exorbitant prices. The problem of the zones of discharges remains whole. It is not fault of having tried, the land aspects are obstacles, even more insurmountable than the removal of the remains themselves.

Overvest recalled that the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) approved a plan of 17 million dollars for the removal of about 300,000 m3 of debris in six districts of Port-au-Prince. But the "six districts have not yet been chosen and it is unclear when the debris will be removed [...] It will take many years to remove the debris [...] we can not go with wheelbarrows to remove [...] that's exactly what some Haitian using shovels or hand".

Leslie Voltaire argues that "there is sufficient crushers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment to Haiti for this work, everyone passes the blame [...] There should be a person in charge. The reconstruction has not even started yet, and will not begin until the city will be under the rubble.

S/ HaitiLibre

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