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Haiti: slight progress after two years

Haiti: slight progress after two years

Bern, 23.01.2012. [CD-EUDnews]. While the country commemorated the earthquake of January 12, 2010, the expectations and needs of the surviving population are enormous. The earthquake killed more than 200,000 persons and sent more than 1.5 million homeless

January 23, 2012 | CD-EUDnews/ADRA-CH News. Pictures Courtesy ADRA Switzerland / ADRA Haiti

Bern, 23.01.2012. [CD-EUDnews]. While the country commemorated the earthquake of January 12, 2010, the expectations and needs of the surviving population are enormous. The earthquake killed more than 200,000 persons and sent more than 1.5 million homeless persons to the streets.
Two years after this unprecedented catastrophe, the situation remains precarious, and the return to normality will take far longer than expected. The absence of a strong government, along with corruption and personal interests hamper and weaken the goodwill of the citizens who wish a new face for this Caribbean country, which has so much to promote.

“It’s the first time I have the opportunity to learn a real trade,” 31-year old Gary Laurent said. He is being trained to become a marine carpenter within the framework of a technical support project implemented by ADRA Switzerland for 450 families who make a living by fishing in Petit-Goâve.
Each year, about 2000 canoes are built in Haiti. This practice contributes to the deforestation of this island, already weakened by the intensive use of lumber to produce coal. The project of technical support and training includes an awareness of the protection of the environment. The canoes for this project are built with lumber from Canada, where every tree that has been cut is replaced by a new one. The marine carpenters themselves build the canoes for this project and learn to use new products, such as marine epoxy (see picture).
Gary Laurent had learned his trade with his father. “Formerly I made canoes with unsuitable materiel, and it was very tiring.

The oak or mango wood had to be carved by hand. Now, working has become more technical and easier. Through this training program, I feel I have become a real marine carpenter.” Technical training, organizational reinforcement, supply of fishing materiel and basic equipment, etc., are, among many others, the basic ingredients of this action. It will stretch over a 26-month period. ADRA Switzerland, with the support of the “Chain of Happiness,” is financing these activities.
Let us remind you that, immediately after the earthquake, the ADRA network, including ADRA Switzerland, stepped in to bring emergency help to the survivors, taking care of the wounded, distributing food, drinking water, tents, basic supplies, etc. Several hundred thousand of persons received vital support during the weeks following the earthquake.
Additionally, provisional shelters were built in Petit-Goâve, supplying decent lodging quarters to more than a thousand families which lived in extreme precariousness. At the same t

ime, drinking water was distributed to the population which had no access to the water network, damaged by the earthquake.
All these projects were made possible through your generosity and the support of the “Chain of Happiness.” We wish to express our heartfelt thanks.
In spite of the withdrawal of many NGOs, ADRA Switzerland pursues its action to accompany the vulnerable population and improve their economical and social condition. By pursuing our action in the country itself, we participate humbly but surely in the process of change and offer them new perspectives.

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