Uphill struggles in Haiti

This is my third visit to Haiti and I’m always keen to see what changes have happened since my last visit and how our programmes are improving the lives of children in the country.

Recently I saw some of the household latrines that we have been building for families in Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital city.  In such a densely populated city, space is difficult to find.

With many houses perched on the side of the mountains around the city our teams have a difficult task in finding available land on which they can build the much needed latrines.

Logistical nightmare

After clambering up the steep hillside to get see one of the latrines we have built, I start to realise what a logistical nightmare it must be for the teams carrying out the work.

I find it difficult enough walking up the hillside, but our staff also have to find a way of getting the materials to these sites, many of which can only be reached on foot.

It’s no wonder that progress is slow in this environment where so much has to be done by hand.

Even the apparently simple task of rubble removal will take years due to the sheer volume of the destruction and the lack of access to many locations, which means the machinery that we take for granted in the West can’t be used.

Optimism

To add to the complexity there are still a huge amount of unresolved issues around land ownership which the previous government has been slow to resolve.

With a new government in place in Haiti it’s difficult to know what the future will bring, but there is a sense of optimism in the air and a hope that the issues that have hampered Haiti’s ability to recover from the disasters faced in 2011 can start to be resolved.

For the Haitian people’s sake let’s hope so!

In the past year we have reached 870,000 people with life saving aid and programmes. Find out more about our work in Haiti

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