20 June 2010
On 15 June, the Red Cross handed over the first permanent house rebuilt as part of its recovery programme after Haiti’s earthquake on 12 January 2010.
This integrated neighbourhood project taking place in Delmas 19, Port-au-Prince, encourages people to return from camps to their communities and contributes to rebuilding and repairing housing in the capital.
The Red Cross is also addressing income and sanitation issues in the area by providing cash grants and reconstructing infrastructure, including the neighbourhood’s main drainage canal.
From a tent to a house
Leomene Pierre, 58, is one of the residents moving into a new house, with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.
She says: “I lost my house and everything in the earthquake and had to live in a tent. It was the most terrible time anyone in this country can remember.
“I can’t find the words to explain how grateful I am to be receiving this house. I would never have had the means to rebuild it myself. This is a great day for me and my family.”
Building safer homes
Hans Visser, shelter manager for the British Red Cross in Haiti, says: “This initial stage of the programme has allowed us to raise awareness and train local artisans in using seismic-resistant construction methods, demonstrating to the local community how to build back safer.
“With these first five pilot houses we’ve trained local masons who will be hired as we expand the programme, providing valuable local employment opportunities as we scale up over the next year.”
In Delmas 19, the Red Cross is working with communities to provide safe shelters for the most vulnerable through reconstruction, relocation and repairs. The community regeneration project will help reduce occupants of camps and support reconstruction or rentals in neighbourhoods.
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