Behind Closed Doors of Port-au-Prince “Reconstruction”
Port-au-Prince, June 10 2011 – Why hasn’t reconstruction begun in downtown Port-au-Prince, the area of Haiti most savagely hit by the January 12, 2010, earthquake?
Why are there still tent cities surrounding the National Palace?
Why is planning conducted and decided behind closed doors, with secret contracts nobody sees?
Why are the beneficiaries – the capital’s poor majority – also kept out of the planning and in the dark?
Two new investigations by Haiti Grassroots Watch and students from the Laboratoire de Journalisme at the State University of Haiti tried to figure out what is blocking the reconstruction of downtown, and why the Champ de Mars is still home to thousands of families.
Journalists found a lack of transparency, lack of coordination, rivalry and sometimes even outright disagreement, in a context where no single authority seems to have a complete picture, or accept complete responsibility.
The results of the apparent impasse or – at the very least – confusion? Thousands of families braving the rains, winds and cholera under tarps and infrahuman conditions, undisbursed funding, and a rubble-strewn downtown characterized by empty plots and dying businesses.
Haiti Grassroots Watch is a partnership of AlterPresse, the Society for the Animation of Social Communication (SAKS), the Network of Women Community Radio Broadcasters (REFRAKA) and the community radios of the Association of Haitian Community Media (AMEKA).