The impact of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on January 12, 2010 affected Haiti's capital and nearby towns and killed up to 230,000 people. Damages and losses were evaluated at around US$8 billion or 120 percent of GDP.
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ChallengeWhile more Haitians have gained access to improved drinking water sources over the last decade, reducing the gap between urban and rural water access remains a challenge. In rural parts of Ha... Show More +iti, less than half of the population has access to improved water sources and only 17 percent of people have access to improved sanitation.The limited resources available for water supply outside the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area were mostly used for urban water supply in secondary towns. In addition, the Ministry of Health’s rural water units had limited funds and had become inactive. There was also no specific institution responsible for sanitation. Without an institutional presence in rural areas, it was difficult to prioritize investments in order to reach the neediest citizens. Local communities could not properly maintain infrastructure and many rural water systems were managed by water committees often consisting of unpaid volunteers elected by the community. The performance of water committees varied widely, but most water committees were not able to collect sufficient funds for operation and routine maintenance.Adding to these challenges, a cholera epidemic struck Haiti in October 2010 exposing the important health risks related to low water supply and sanitation coverage in rural areas, as well as the need to speed up investments in building and rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure.SolutionThe World Bank partnered with the State and Peace-Building Fund (SPF) and the Haitian National Water and Sanitation Directorate (DINEPA) to address the challenges of increasing access to water supply and sanitation services in rural communities of the South and Nippes departments of Haiti. The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project introduced a professional management model involving local, professional water operators (OPs), which were selected and contracted by the community to operate, maintain and manage the water supply systems. It also promoted cost recovery, metering, and the use of water kiosks, as well as gravity-fed piped systems to minimize potential technical issues. Where pumping was necessary and cost-effective, the project preferred renewable energy, such as solar.The communities were selected by evaluating their willingness to pay for water services and by using a participatory approach providing communities with a series of choices for different water service levels – household connection or water kiosk—and different tariff structures.In line with the national sanitation strategy, the Bank also conducted hygiene and sanitation promotion and training activities, focusing on the development of incentives to encourage Haitians to build, maintain and use their own toilets. ResultsThe project supported improvements in water and sanitation through several key outcomes. The main results of the water supply interventions include:Construction or rehabilitation of 15 drinking water systems to serve 59,367 people. Systems were equipped with a chlorinator and each operator has a test kit to measure water quality.Establishment of a new management model in nine communities serving 49,712 people. The water and sanitation committees (CAEPAs) and OPs were trained in community mobilization, conflict resolution, billing and accounting, meter reading and repairing, chlorination as well as plumbing. In addition, following the cholera epidemic, members of CAEPAs, OPs and plumbers were trained in the basic response to cholera and other waterborne diseases.Installation of 1,598 household connections to water networks, and construction or rehabilitation of 55 water distribution kiosks and 34 public fountains.Installation of eight boreholes with hand pumps serving 4,000 people.The main results of the sanitation interventions are:Sanitation works in14 public schools and one health center reaching 5,547 students and teachers.Construction or rehabilitation of 25 sets of latrines, 25 urinals and 28 hand-washing stations.Training for 14 masons from seven communities and one Rural Development Units (URD) technician to build latrines in the participating communities.Training for 28 trainers and 28 community workers in the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) approach.Launch of hygiene and sanitation promotion campaigns on two regional radio stations. Training sessions on hygiene promotion and sanitation in schools and health centers, increasing the proportion of households that own and use a latrine.Bank Group ContributionThe Bank contributed to DINEPA’s Rural Water and Sanitation Program with a $5 million grantPartnersThe State and Peace-Building Fund contributed an additional $5 million. The professional operator management model was adopted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Subsequently, the Bank and IADB have been coordinating investments and sharing lessons learned.Moving Forward As a result of the successful implementation of the professional operator management model in the South department, a new project is under preparation to scale up the model to the national level. The new project will accompany DINEPA in its decentralization process and in efforts to achieve sustainable access to water supply and sanitation services in rural areas and small towns. It will build on the lessons learned from the implementation of this project, from best practices in sector reform from other countries and from global health and water supply and sanitation practices to help prevent and control cholera.Beneficiaries The project has successfully increased access to water services in participating rural communities. The water systems constructed or rehabilitated have benefited 59,367 people in 15 communities. The project has also contributed to increasing access to and use of sanitation to 4,964 households in the seven communities targeted for this intervention. In addition, sanitation was improved in one health center and 14 schools which received a total of 25 new or rehabilitated latrine blocks to benefit 5,547 students and teachers. Finally, 27.5% of households surveyed in beneficiary communities reported having built a latrine with their own resources in the last five years. Show Less -
The Haiti earthquake displaced more than 1.5 million people. Typhoon Haiyan affected 1.4 million families. What did we learn about moving back displaced families into new homes in the aftermath of a t... Show More +errible disaster?Nearly five years after the 2010 earthquake more than 1.3 million displaced Haitians – more than 90 percent - have moved out of the camps. This reduction is dramatic but the challenge remains of finding durable solutions for those who are still displaced.This challenge is not unique to Haiti. From the Philippines to the tsunami affected countries, resolving post-disaster displacement crises stands out as a critical concern as natural disasters associated with the effects of climate change become more severe.During a panel discussion at the World Reconstruction Conference in Washington last week, Clement Belizaire, Director of Relocation Programs, Housing and Public Building Construction Unit in Haiti highlighted some of the golden rules and lessons learned from the participatory approach undertaken for neighborhood rehabilitation in Haiti after the earthquake. “First of all the IDP (internally displaced population) must be given a voice. Second, they have to be given a choice. Third national and local leadership is of essence especially in a country like Haiti where culture is strong. And the most important thing for the international community is to fill in the gaps”, said Clement Belizaire.Typically, the large part of the most vulnerable population affected and displaced are renters. This was particularly the case in Haiti. “90 percent of the people displaced wanted a rental solution”, he said.Haiti successfully piloted a rental support cash grant to relocate people and help them move out of camps into safer neighborhoods. Through this initiative, the families benefit from a year’s support in secure housing of their choice. It allows families to negotiate their own rent so they can use the extra money saved from their rent to pay down their debts, pay school fees or start small businesses. This also helped stabilize the rental prices below the USD500 given to families. While rental subsidies do not provide a permanent housing solution, it helps the families return to their life as it was before the earthquake. The Housing and Public Building Construction Unit with the World Bank just recently issued a manual which provides a blueprint for rolling out similar program in other countries.Similarly, the Philippines, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, is using mobile cash transfers to help relocate affected people living in high risk areas. “Right now one of the main challenges is to identify the most marginalized section of the population”, said Lesley Y. Cordero, Undersecretary of the Office of the President Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery.A year after typhoon Haiyan, the government with development partners, is faced with the challenge of building over 200,000 houses and is taking a community driven approach to “build back better and faster” as the country is prone to typhoons.“We had already piloted a rental program in conflict affected Mindanao. We are trying to tweak the existing mechanism to be able to plug it in disaster affected area,” said Lesley Y Cordero. In Haiti, there was already a housing deficit before the earthquake. There was no central housing authority, no housing policy, no building codes or urban planning, and a real scarcity of available land and unreliable land records.Because of the complexity of building new houses in such context, the approach agreed with the Government was to focus on improving basic neighborhood infrastructure to encourage home owners to invest in rebuilding and repairing their properties, increasing available rental housing. “Innovation comes from the people affected by the disaster”, stressed Belizaire.Summarizing some of the main lessons in finding durable solutions in post-crisis displacement, the Executive Director for the Geneva based Shelter Centre Tom Corselllis highlighted:Innovation has to come from local communities and the importance of forming and nurturing community groups to help them articulate their needsSolutions should be formulated and facilitated by government.Protection of IDPs must take into account the destabilizing effects country by country on how roles and vulnerability of the affected communities have changed as a result of a disasterAll institutions involved and coordination structure need to benefit from cross fertilization by bringing external capacities and experiences to provide a relevant toolbox of solutions without imposing these solutions Show Less -
The case studies complement the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) guides, which are being launched this week by GFDRR and UNDP at the Second World Recons... Show More +truction Conference (WRC 2). The guides provide recommendations on how to assess damages after a disaster, and help countries better plan, design and implement post-disaster recovery and reconstruction programs. “Large-scale natural disasters, particularly in fragile and developing countries can set back years of development achievements. While we can’t eliminate future disasters completely, we can learn from each event so that when we rebuild, we reduce identified vulnerabilities,” said Francis Ghesquiere, head of the GFDRR Secretariat.But resilience is not only about the end result – the new buildings and infrastructure -- but also about how the process is carried out. By engaging the local government and affected communities, the reconstruction process can strengthen social capital and community capacities, as well as innovate in and improve public sector delivery and effectiveness.This was clear after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. The government of Pakistan rolled out a public subsidy program for housing reconstruction which provided households with both technical and financial support. Having a clear stake in the rehabilitation or rebuilding of their homes, the affected households ensured that the new construction was earthquake-safe. Over 400,000 homes were rebuilt – 90 percent of which were in compliance with the new seismic codes, better preparing the region for future earthquakes.To build resilience, recovery, and reconstruction programs should also take into account the specific vulnerabilities of the poorest segments of society – the households and individuals who don’t have access to the safety net of savings or property and are most at risk of falling deeper into poverty.In Bangladesh, for example, Tropical Cyclone Sidr damaged over 1 million homes in 2007, triggering the largest housing reconstruction program in the country’s history. However, during the recovery and reconstruction phase, the government encountered a major challenge: over half of all households didn’t have legal rights to their land.For poor households, targeted solutions to address their specific vulnerabilities can tip the balance toward a more resilient and prosperous future. By compiling the best knowledge and expertise from around the world, we can help disaster-prone countries learn from others that have faced similar challenges in the past.In addition to good practices, the case studies also provide insights into what countries could have done better.“Disasters happen because development went wrong. When a disaster strikes, we have an opportunity to set development on a different path that ultimately leads to better sustainable development outcomes and poverty reduction,” said Jo Scheuer, coordinator for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team in the United Nations Development Programme. “We have come an extremely long way. Every recovery setting is different and we have to continue learning, adjusting and collaborating with the international partnerships we have established.”The nine case studies will be presented at the Second World Reconstruction Conference to foster learning and knowledge exchange among regions, countries and sectors of development. They are available for download at www.gfdrr.org. Show Less -
Nearly 15 years ago, a World Bank disaster risk management team went to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to work at the beach -- literally. Based on scientific evidence, they set off, together with t... Show More +he government, to counter erosion and rebuild the beaches. The result, the construction of two submerged offshore structures, designed to break up incoming waves and capture sand. Today, 15 meters of beach in the area have been restored.This success story is part of an effort to tackle the Caribbean coastal erosion. Due to rising sea levels and recurring storms, most Caribbean nations have been seeing their beaches disappear. In some areas of St. Vincent, for instance, an estimated 18-30 meters of beach have been lost over the last nine years. The highly vulnerable coastal strand and adjacent towns are fighting against increased flood risk from rainfall and storm surge. The issue of challenges faced by small islands around the world was at the center of this week’s 3rd Small Island Developing States conference held in Samoa. The overarching theme of the conference was sustainable development in view of these states’ unique and particular vulnerabilities.Back in the late 1990s, coastal erosion and beach losses were threatening a fishing village on the east coast of St. Lucia. To address the issue, the World Bank, through the Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Project (1998-2003), supported detailed scientific investigations to identify how nature was really behaving. From those investigations, designs were developed not just to stop the erosion but to re-grow the beach. “You can’t fight nature, you must work together with it,” said Jerry Meier, a World Bank climate change expert. Adding another level of science to the process, computer simulations were used to test the designs before embarking on their construction. “When the project first built the structures, you had to swim to get to the first barrier. Now, you can walk to it,” explained Meier.And the beaches are not the only concern. Caribbean ports are also at risk from rising sea levels. Built in colonial times, many sea ports, such as Castries, St. Lucia; St. Georges, Grenada; Kingstown, St Vincent, are suffering from the increasing threat of flooding, in part due to rising sea level. In island states, ports are the economic heart of the country, typically the capital and the island center of commerce.Airports too are affected. Typically built in flat coastal areas, airports such as Melville Hall, Dominica; Maurice Bishop, Grenada; and Hewannorrah, St Lucia, are dealing with increased flood risk and sea level rise. Show Less -
For two hours both women crisscrossed of Delmas 32, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on this hot day by foot. Streets and alleys are buzzing with life and traffic. There are freshly painted homes, str... Show More +eetlights and a new canal system where not long ago rubble from collapsed homes had buried whole families. For Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, Haiti’s economy and finance minister, and Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the World Bank’s Managing Director and COO, this place symbolizes recovery and hope. It shows what a country can do with the right support and international aid. “I came here only a few months after the earthquake and I am so impressed with the progress Haiti has made in rebuilding. Then, when I stood on the remains of what was a house, a home, it was tough to imagine that life could return to this place,” says Indrawati.Born on almost opposite sides of the globe, in countries that share little but a warm climate and a very high likelihood of being hit by a natural disaster, the minister and the World Bank official discover quickly that they have a lot in common. To start with, their parents instilled in them a deep love for their country. Secondly, the former finance minister of Indonesia and the current finance minister of Haiti have succeeded in roles usually dominated by men.“I never give up something I undertake. It is my upbringing. I grew up in the countryside and we were raised to serve,” says Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie. “I used to climb behind my father on his horse and would help him at work. Together, we used to teach farmers how to read and write using charcoal on a whitewashed wall. I was raised to be determined.”“My parents taught me to think beyond the task at hand and to think of your country before you think of yourself,” says Sri Mulyani. “I am the seventh child out of ten. My mother always worked and she had a PhD. There was never a question that she expected me to give my best.”Talking through an interpreter, they exchange experiences from the world of policy making and the weight of high expectations, limited resources, and tough choices.One had to deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, the other with responding to the tsunami in Aceh. Whether faced with a looming economic collapse following the financial crisis in Indonesia or dealing with high poverty and low revenue in Haiti, both are driven by a deep-rooted commitment to their country. The lesson they learned: With limited space, you do the best possible because perfect may be out of reach.Recent data shows that fewer Haitians are poor compared to ten years ago, but most of the progress is found in cities where people are also almost six times more likely to have access to energy. Meanwhile, the need for more and better services – whether in education, sanitation, clean water or roads - outstrips the country’s ability to deliver.“Sri Mulyani and I discussed this a bit. And I would like to talk to her further. She may have some ‘recipes’ for me,” says Jean-Marie. “Her country is more advanced than Haiti. But I am sure she too had to manage difficult tradeoffs and make choices that had an impact on the real economy while reducing poverty at the same time. The fact that she was also a minister of finance means she knows these kinds of problems. It helps our conversation. She is a good listener.”The reconstruction following the earthquake is almost complete. 1.3 million people have moved from camps to neighborhoods, living in safer homes. As the recovery phase is coming to an end, Haiti is looking at declining aid from the international community. The need to turn development projects into projects fully owned by Haiti is more pressing than ever.A good example is the water treatment and distribution initiative both women visited in Les Cayes, a community in southern Haiti. The project is supported by the World Bank. For a fee, about 60,000 inhabitants get a tap providing clean water. This can be a truly life-saving improvement as Haiti still combats cholera and a high prevalence of diarrhea. The finance minister would like to continue delivering these services, but worries that Haiti cannot afford it. “Not to honor a commitment, to me that is the worst shame. I have to keep going. I believe the most difficult post is the one of minister of finance. You have everyone against you because there is no way of satisfying everyone,” says Jean-Marie.“I know this feeling well,” says Sri Mulyani. “You almost cannot win. But I hope we will be able to work with Haiti on addressing some of these dilemmas. There are many opportunities here, but tapping into them won’t be straight forward. It is not an easy journey but I hope we’ll do it together.”Asked about her vision for Haiti in five years, Jean-Marie says: “Haiti will hopefully be different. Maybe not richer, but we may be able to make better choices and finally tap into our enormous human and economic potential.” Show Less -