Haiti Update: Mud Removal Continues

Here’s the latest update from CRS’ program manager for Haiti, Greg Elder. He’s working with emergency responders and keeping us informed on conditions following massive storm damage in August and September. We’ll publish more of his report over the next two days.

Gonaives mud

A young man uses a wheelbarrow to dump mud he scooped from his family home in Gonaives, Haiti. Photo by David Snyder for CRS.

Two months after the last named storm, Hurricane Ike, hit us, things are moving along in Haiti. We are definitely staying busy. The response activities continue in Gonaives, in the south things are getting back to a semblance of normal. A lot has been accomplished, but there is a lot yet to be done.

Gonaives, which was inundated by rivers of mud, continues to be one of our areas of focus. To date CRS cash-for-work activities have removed approximately 7,867 cubic meters of mud. Mud removal provides temporary employment to approximately 750 storm-affected persons. Due to the sheer amount of mud dumped in the city, only 20 percent of what was dumped into the city by the storms has been removed as a whole at this point by various agencies.

We’ve been working with our local Caritas partner to reach our ultimate goal of clearing out 36 schools with our cash-for-work program, up until now we’ve been able to clean out 24. Many of these schools have been used as shelters, but others were filled with so much debris and mud that they sheltered no one. The government is in a hurry to get the academic year back on track so this has been one of our priorities. So far 65 percent of the schools in Gonaives have been cleared out and are being used for academic purposes. Unfortunately a few months into the academic year many continue to be used as shelters.

– Greg Elder

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