View ACTED Base map in a larger map
Toward reconstruction and recovery - 2011 was a year of transition for Haiti after the 12 January 2010 earthquake which stroke the entire area of Port-au-Prince, from an emergency phase towards reconstruction and recovery projects. One year on, scars of the catastrophe remain visible, notably with the remaining camps of internally displaced affected populations. The cholera epidemic has proved an additional burden, with numerous epidemic peaks throughout the 2011 rainy season, after the outbreak in Artibonite in October 2010 and the rapid spread of the disease to the whole country. During this key phase, ACTED teams have provided continuous support to the Haitian population in its social and economic recovery and in the new fight against cholera, while pursuing its projects focusing on malnutrition in ACTED’s traditional intervention areas in Lower-Artibonite.
A fresh start for affected families
One year after the earthquake, in January 2011, 806,377 displaced people were still living in 1,152 camps, as a result of the scope of the destructions and losses which have worsened an already dire housing situation. The social and economic recovery of affected populations will rely on the improvement of their living conditions: ACTED has thus chosen to focus its 2011 intervention strategy on housing issues to provide earthquake-affected Haitians with sustainable short and long term solutions. This intervention strategy was supported by systematic assessments and mapping exercises held by our AME/GIS department, including a survey on the intentions and needs of IDPs, as well as on the socio-economic profile and the level of debts of Haitian households. These surveys, widely shared to all stakeholders, have been used by many operators, including the Haitian government, committed to supporting the returning process as well as reconstruction.
In this framework, ACTED has provided 1,419 families in Leogane and 1,338 families in the urban area of Port-au-Prince with a transitional shelter, despite the many reconstruction challenges in the capital-city. ACTED also pursued the structural assessment of damaged infrastructure launched in 2010 by the Haitian government, with the evaluation of 16,291 buildings in Leogane in 2011. Based on this structural assessment, ACTED proceeded to the rehabilitation of damaged buildings benefiting 340 families, and trained 160 masons to best building practices. Improving the living conditions of Haitian families also implies sustainable sanitation policies, notably when faced with complex urban contexts and the cholera epidemic. ACTED thus built 680 latrines in the area of Port-au-Prince in 2011 and will keep on in the 2012.
Responding to disasters and the cholera epidemic though community capacity building
In 2011, the cholera epidemic steadily showed a common epidemiological profile to affected-countries, with lower cases in the dry season and peaks during the rainy season. After first responding to the cholera outbreak in the very first days of the epidemic in October 2010, ACTED maintained its support to local and national institutions, health facilities and the communities throughout 2011, with water and sanitation interventions which benefitted 500,000 people. Following a first emergency phase beginning 2011, ACTED carried on its water and sanitation operations, with a specific focus on community capacity building, emergency preparedness and prevention, while ensuring people’s empowerment to these activities and to early warning mechanisms set up by the communities and the authorities.
Next to that, ACTED also worked on emergency contingency by pre-positioning contingency stocks in Lower Artibonite and Plateau Central, as part of disaster preparedness for possible emergencies during the hurricane season. These activities allowed the teams to build up community response mechanisms and to identify areas at risks for the 2012 hurricane season. ACTED also developed its partnership with the NGO Zanmi Lasanté in the treatment of malnutrition in our traditional intervention areas in Lower Artibonite.
Toward sustainable reconstruction and improved resilience for vulnerable communities
In November 2011, 519,164 people were still living in IDP camps: housing access and improved living conditions, based on policies for national reconstruction and early recovery for affected areas, are the main issues at stake for 2012. Long term sustainability will be only achieved through community and local authority’s empowerment as the main stakeholders and decision makers in this key development process. 2012 will see a sustained commitment by ACTED to the reconstruction process of affected neighborhoods with active participation of the communities, notably through dedicated support to building craftsmen and vulnerable families for the rebuilding of their house.
Ahead of the next cholera peak (the epidemic has already led to the death of over 7,100 people), awaited for the next rainy season, and potential hurricane-related risks and disasters, ACTED will carry on its commitment toward local communities and institutions to increase their resilience and their response capacity to emergencies. ACTED will also aim at promoting direct community involvement in local development policies, notably for agriculture, and improving the general social and economic status of the most vulnerable people.
Partners in 2011
Anesvad, Chemonics, Codegaz, Concern, Croix Rouge Américaine, Bureau de la Coordination des Affaires Humanitaires (OCHA), Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM), Laboratoires Farmatrix, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Partners in Health (PIH), Service d'Aide Humanitaire et de la Protection Civile de la Commission européenne (ECHO), The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UK Department for International Development (DFID), Vestergaard Frandsen.