Haiti earthquake One year on Impact of the earthquake Devastation caused by the earthquake. Photo:REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz, courtesy of www.alertnet.org Twelve months ago, at 4.53pm, a powerful equivalent to the entire population of Birmingham, earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti. UK or the American city of Los Angeles. On January 12, 2010, over 200,000 people died and 1.5 million were made homeless.The tremor, Over the past year, Haitians have endured cholera measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, destroyed and monsoon rains as well as violence in the everything from schools and hospitals to aftermath of the presidential elections. Already government buildings and the presidential palace. the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti had previously witnessed several floods and The earthquake affected 3.8 million people- that is hurricanes in recent years. 2 Islamic Relief’s work so far Haitian women employed by Islamic Relief to clear rubble After setting up the first organised camp for In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, displaced people eleven days after the earthquake, Islamic Relief provided regular food to camp Islamic Relief continued to provide support residents. As well as taking care of many of their to thousands of survivors. Since then, we have immediate needs, we are also helping local people founded another two camps, housing a total of to rebuild their lives and communities. Over the over 5,000 people. People in our camps receive last twelve months, we have provided 1,820 job regular drinking water, access to washing areas and opportunities to residents and we have trained clean toilets. over 180 people in IT skills. By equipping people with the skills and opportunities to earn a living, Each of the three camps has its own committee, Islamic Relief aims to enable people to support which organises the community and coordinates themselves once more. with Islamic Relief, providing regular feedback on the changing needs of the residents. 3 Children and education Pupils of Pierre Labitre Municipal School, Port-au-Prince, were forced to study under tarpaulin sheeting during the hurricane season Children suffered heavily in the earthquake. Of 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed in the the 3.8 million people affected, 1.5 million were earthquake, including 80% of the schools in Port- children. Even before the disaster stuck, 58% of au-Prince. Islamic Relief aims to ensure that the Haitian children were undernourished. After the pupils’ families also benefit from their education, by 12 January, 302,000 children were forced to leave equipping the children with the skills and schooling their homes and live in camps. they need to enter into higher education and, later on, secure jobs. 4 Children and education Pierre Labitre Municipal School after being rehabilitated and reopened in November 2010 In November, Islamic Relief staff and local pupils months, enduring heavy rains and extreme heat. celebrated the reopening of three primary schools Now, the 2,500 students are able to focus in the which Islamic Relief had rehabilitated. Children classroom once more. at these schools had been studying outdoors for Islamic Relief staff distribute school supplies to children at Pierre Labitre Municipal School 5 Children and education Medor’s school after being repaired “The building is completely renovated” Medor Marie Yolande is a primary school teacher “When the classes were outdoors, passers-by at Application De Damien school in Port-au-Prince. often disrupted my classes. Neither student nor teacher was able to focus. The students “I teach Maths, French, Social Sciences and Creole,” were really happy with the repair. The building is explained Medor. Her school was badly damaged completely renovated.” in the earthquake and she was forced to teach her students under plastic sheeting. Medor said,“I told my students that if it weren’t for Islamic Relief’s support, we might have spent the “We used to work in the school yard in tents. At entire year in tents, enduring hurricanes, extreme about 10.30 in the morning, the sun would become heat and all kinds of weather.” unbearable for the students and for me. We also used to have to fit four or five students to a bench Medor sent a message to everyone who has which is meant to seat three.” supported Haitians through Islamic Relief, “Thank you for the work you do in Haiti and I hope God Medor’s students also found it difficult to concentrate gives you the strength and courage to continue.” because of the noise from the nearby traffic. 6 Children and education Amanda (lower centre) and Maturin (lower left) with their classmates Amanda, 10, and Maturin, 13, are friends. They Maturin described how school life was after the were studying at Pierre Labitre School when the building was severely damaged. earthquake struck. “After the earthquake we had to study outside in “I was studying on the top floor of my school a tent for classes. It gets very hot in daytime and when the earthquake began to shake the building,” I would become very thirsty; I didn’t enjoy sitting explained Amanda, I fell over and hurt my legs, and and studying under that tent. But now our school my mother, who was at home also hurt her legs.” has been rebuilt. It is colourful and nice. I want to Amanda’s cousin was also at school when the continue and study and become a nurse. I’d like tremor struck, “Unfortunately one of my cousins to thank Islamic Relief because they repaired our died in the earthquake.” school and even gave us exercise books too.” 7 Impact of the earthquake Vendors begin to reopen their shops in downtown Port-au-Prince, March 2010 Economic impact In 2009, Haiti’s resources and products (GDP) 200,000 people dead was estimated to be worth $6.5bn. But since the earthquake, this has reduced to just $2.3bn. The earthquake caused $7.8bn of damage 1.5 million people homeless and losses on an island which, even before the tremor, relied four times as much on imports as it did exports. Devastated infrastructure has made importation and distribution of essentials such as 300,000 homes food and building materials extremely difficult for the local community. damaged or destroyed 1,300 schools and universities collapsed 8 Challenges Parc Sainte Claire camp, Port-au-Prince, set up by Islamic Relief 11 days after the earthquake Each disaster is unique and requires a distinct Living in camps approach to help those affected to repair the damage.The earthquake in Haiti caused staggering Although much has been achieved since the damage to the nation’s infrastructure, crippling earthquake struck, millions of people are still living government buildings as well as the offices of aid in camps across the capital. agencies already established in the country. This was followed by tens of aftershocks for weeks More than half a million people have left their camps after the initial tremor, as well as heavy monsoon in Port-au-Prince, and most have returned to their rains, flooding and a hurricane. original community. However there are still about one million people without a permanent home. Since August, Islamic Relief has built 250 temporary shelters.These provide people whose houses were destroyed with a durable, weatherproof home to live in until a permanent structure can be built. 9 Challenges A shelter where one family was living before receiving a transitional shelter from Islamic Relief Although Islamic Relief aims to ensure conditions shelters, Islamic Relief is targeting specific in our camps are as comfortable as possible, we communities and working with them to provide are dedicated to providing a route out of these employment and training so that they may be able camps.This plan is hindered by several factors: to earn money to repair or rebuild their homes. • There is little land available on which to build • Some people rely so heavily on the aid provided in the camps that they cannot afford to leave if their land is far away from an aid agency’s project • A number of earthquake survivors used to rent their houses and do not own the land on which they were living. Aid agencies cannot rebuild whole cities or national Constructing transitional shelters economies, so in addition to building temporary 10 Challenges Distributing hygiene kits to prevent the spread of cholera Cholera outbreak Twelve water tankers have been set-up, six for drinking and six for washing, and each is clearly Nearly 3,000 people have died in Haiti as a result marked and separated from the others. of the cholera outbreak. Over 130,000 people have now been diagnosed with the disease, with Islamic Relief has also conducted training on good more than 30,000 cases in and around the capital, hygiene practices and distributed hygiene kits to Port-au-Prince. all residents of the three camps in Port-au-Prince. These hygiene kits include detergents and soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toilet paper, towels, Combating cholera a washing basin. Cholera is spread when people drink water that Each of the camps that is coordinated by Islamic has been contaminated by someone who has Relief has showers, toilets and clothes washing already contracted the disease. To help combat areas. There are also extensive water channels the spread of cholera, Islamic Relief is continuing to combat flooding in the camps, which can help to supply clean water to residents of our three prevent the spread of all waterborne diseases. camps. 25,500 litres of clean drinking water are being distributed on a daily basis. 11 Stories from the earthquake Jean Paul works and lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Here he recounts his experience over past year, since the devastating 7.0 earthquake hit the Caribbean country. During the earthquake I was in the middle of teaching class at school. That was the first time I ever felt the ground shake beneath me and it was a terrifying moment for everyone. As we all ran out of the building all I was able to hear was everyone shouting “God!” and “Jesus”. The school was next to a hospital and I just went outside and collapsed to the ground. When I came round I saw nurses, doctors and patients in the street, shocked at what they were seeing. One woman was giving birth to twins as the earthquake happened and she came out of the hospital holding one baby, the father holding the other, but they were still attached to her.They hadn’t “They hadn’t even had even had the chance to cut the umbilical cord. the chance to cut the I was on my way to another hospital, taking some umbilical cord.” survivors to get treatment, when I saw a schoolgirl who had broken both her arms. There was no space in the hospital for her so she hung out in front of the hospital.Three days later she died from a combination of thirst, hunger and suffering – she “Three days later had no money and nobody to help her. she died from a combination of thirst, I lost my job in the earthquake but thankfully I am better off than most as I found a job working hunger and suffering.” for Islamic Relief ever since the day they started operating in the country. Initially I thought that they would just be working here for a week or month, but one year has passed and they are still here, determined to reach the most vulnerable. But life is still a struggle because so many of my family members and friends depend on my support. 12 Stories from the earthquake Jean Baptiste was on his way back home after teaching a class when the earthquake struck. Here he shares his experience. I left to go to play basketball with my friends and as we were in the middle of our game the earth suddenly began to shake. Everything was moving back and forth, we tried to cling to one another and we were all just shouting “Jesus” over and over again. It was terrible. I looked all around and in one glance I could see that the houses had just collapsed. I had to find out what happened to my children so I ran home like a greyhound, shouting “Bondye pitit mwen yo mouri” hoping to God that my children hadn’t died. I got home and the house had collapsed but, thank God, my children were still alive. That was the worst experience of my life, ever since that moment I’ve felt downtrodden and my heart beats like a drum every time I hear a sudden noise. “I got home and the Five months ago I started working as an assistant house had collapsed but, for Islamic Relief’s shelter programme, helping to thank God, my children carry out assessments and organising the building of shelters for earthquake survivors. were still alive.” Historically, Haitians mark the Christmas quite differently to foreign countries. We stay awake all night, children play in the streets because their “ I still hope that there parents let them stay up. Some people go to the church; others go to the cinema or invite people can be change for to their homes. This year, Christmas was just tomorrow.” celebrated in tents. While passing by, you could see some earthquake survivors had decorated their tents most wonderfully with Christmas trees and lights. So when I see all the kindness that God has blessed us with, I find good reason to keep living and still hope that there can be change for tomorrow and one day we Haiti will be able to celebrate the season properly again. 13 Plans for the future Young girls at Islamic Relief’s Parc Sainte Claire camp, Port-au-Prince Islamic Relief’s current projects are aimed at After repairing two badly damaged schools, Islamic improving the levels of sanitation in our camps. Relief is now concentrating on rebuilding a school During the next stage of our programme in that was completely destroyed in the earthquake. Haiti, we will be continuing to focus on Cholera prevention, hygiene and rehabilitation projects. Islamic Relief would like to thank you all for your generous and consistent support. Over the next few months, we will be constructing temporary shelters for families whose homes Please continue to donate so that we can keep were destroyed and continuing our livelihood working to help the people of Haiti. projects which provide our camp residents with jobs so that they can begin to support themselves islamic-relief.com/donations once again. 14 How many people have been helped so far? Number of Type of assistance people reached Emergency shelter 4,700 Water and food 6,000 Plastic sheeting and jerrycan 1,600 Household and kitchen items 7,200 Hygiene kits 5,700 Rubbish collection 5,700 Washing facilities 5,700 Provision of jobs - rubble clearance 1,820 Vocational training 180 Transitional family shelter 1,320 Cholera prevention – hygiene kits, regular clean water, hygiene 5,000 promotion and workshops School repair and rehabilitation 2,500 children 15 Islamic Relief Worldwide 19 Rea St South, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6LB United Kingdom Tel: +44 121 605 5555 Fax: +44 121 622 5003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Registered Charity No. 328158 www.islamic-relief.com Cover image: 28-year-old Carl Bazil was forced to leave his home with his wife and 3-year-old son.They are living in Islamic Relief’s Parc Sainte Claire camp.
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