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Haiti still struggling a year after the earthquake

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Haiti still struggling a year after the earthquake


Like much of the Haitian capital, the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince is still in ruins.

Reconstruction in the city has barely got underway, even though it is now a year since the devastating earthquake on the 12th of January, 2010.

Haiti’s struggling infrastructure means recovery from the devastation left by the magnitude seven tremor is slower and more complex than originally thought.

Out of the 20 million cubic metres of debris, only five percent has so far been cleared.

105 thousand homes were flattened and 208 thousand damaged, but only 15 percent of the temporary housing needed to replace them has gone up.

Efforts to rehouse the estimated 1.3 million left homeless are faltering as a result.

Aid workers say more than 800 thousand people are still living under canvas.

Temporary houses can last up to ten years, and cost around 2000 euros for a 25 metre square dwelling.

There are thousands of ngo’s operating in Haiti, and many are focusing on housing. But their efforts are being hampered by a lack of coordination.

As well as the faltering reconstruction, the earthquake survivors must contend with appalling sanitation.

An outbreak of cholera has so far claimed the lives of more than 3,400 people since October, and is affecting the entire country.

It is painfully clear that the scale of the devastation, coupled with the lack of coordination and political will, are scuppering plans to rebuild Haiti brick-by-brick, as promised in the wake of the earthquake twelve months ago.

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