Coach House Geography

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Despite ‘all that money,’ more than 1 million Haitians remain displaced by January earthquake

Posted by Lindy on August 22, 2010

The good points: due to all the international help, there has been no starvation, no waterborne diseases and no rioting. If disease has been avoided, it is in large part because Oxfam supplies clean water and latrines.

But still far too many are in leaky tents:  “I’m still here,” Immacula Pierre said, gesturing at a tattered tarp-and-plywood shelter that covered a soaked bed on ground left muddy by an overnight downpour. More than seven months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, an estimated 1.3 million Haitians — 15 percent of the population — are still living in tents.

The reconstruction is slow to get going is the country’s muddled land ownership, with competing deeds and contradictory surveys left by Haiti’s history of dictatorships, coups and political instability. Moreover, the earthmoving equipment is not up tpo the job – so far only 4% of what needs to be moved has been. Also corruption is endemic. Just 2 weeks ago the World Bank, acknowledging the problem gave $30 million to set an infrastructure to police the estimated $10billion that will come Haiti’s way.

But things move slowly in Haiti. A European engineer with the company contracted to build houses at Corail-Cesselesse said he and his team are ready to start any time and could swiftly get 1,300 of the little structures up at a cost of $4,500 each. But the government is dragging its feet signing the paperwork.

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