Three years ago on January 12 a catastrophic earthquake shook the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, devastating Haiti.
Within minutes thousands of poorly-made homes and buildings collapsed. Nearly a quarter of a million children, women and men died. At least one million people were made homeless. Amongst the dead was the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, most of the leadership of the UN programme, and nearly a third of the country’s civil servants.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, aid agencies from around the world mobilised, while the US government deployed large numbers of troops to support food distribution and security. Trying to haul machinery, building materials, toilets or water through a country whose roads had been destroyed or needed to be cleared of rubble, was a huge undertaking.
Three years on, all the rubble in the capital Port-au-Prince has been cleared from the streets, and the worst-hit buildings demolished. The majority of people have been moved from camps into transitional or permanent homes, and the capital is busy with life and activity. Some of the public parks, previously used as camps, have now been cleaned and tended, and returned to former glory.
To suggest times have been hard for Haitians since 2010 is an insult to what people have had to suffer. Continue reading