Haiti Shelter Building Turns ‘Rubble to Riches’

Barbara J. Fraser, a 2010 Egan Award winner, traveled to Haiti to see CRS relief work and wrote. The following is excerpted from a story she wrote for The Catholic Sun.

In one earthquake-ravaged neighborhood beside a steep ravine, residents are turning rubble into riches.

Not only are they using debris from damaged buildings to make concrete for new construction, they are also earning a living and learning to run what they hope will become a thriving new community business.

Next to a brightly painted, prefabricated wooden shelter, two women crank the flywheel of a small machine that grinds chunks of broken concrete into gravel or sand, which can be recycled into building material.

“Rubble is of no value until it is broken down into something that does have value,” said Kevin Osborne of the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services, who manages a rubble-recycling project. “There is a lot of rubble in Port-au-Prince that has to be disposed of or reused. It doesn’t make sense to dump it somewhere” instead of using it to rebuild.

Read the full story here.

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