FEATURE STORY February 28, 2018

It All Starts With a Road: The Key to Mobility in Haiti

The thousands of residents of the village of Labadie now take less than 30 minutes to make the trip from the city of Cap in the Nord department of Haiti to Labadie. Prior to the road rehabilitation that began in 2016, this same trip took 90 minutes. Reducing the travel time also improved living conditions for residents and is bringing new momentum to the village. Transportation costs are now more affordable for families. Parents who left their children with relatives in the historic city center of Cap-Haïtien can now easily make the daily commute to take their children to school. Many small business owners can now transport and exhibit their crafts at the Royal Caribbean site, which welcomes 500,000 cruise ship visitors every year. A new tourism destination is emerging in the Grand Nord, which is already renowned for its National History Park including the Citadel, the Sans Souci palace, and Ramiers.

World Bank Group


This Monday morning, Jean-Douby Florville, 13, can take all his time to eat and review his homework before going to school. The eldest son in a family of four children, Jean-Douby crosses the eight kilometers that link the village of Labadie to downtown Cap Haïtien, where his mother's hardware store and the good schools of the region are located. Before, the journey took 90 minutes on a dusty road. Since the rehabilitation of the road, the same journey takes only 30 minutes.

“Before, there were a lot of accidents on the road because it was too narrow in some places. In the rainy season, it was difficult for us to get to school because even motorcycles couldn’t get through,” recalls Jean-Douby.

This road was opened in February 2018 by Haiti's President, Jovenel Moïse, accompanied by the Prime Minister of the Bahamas visiting Haiti to attend the CARICOM summit, and the World bank Country Director, Anabela Abreu. In his speech, the President of the Republic welcomed this achievement, the result of effective cooperation between the World Bank and the Haitian Government. “We would like to commend the World Bank for financing the construction at the request of the Haitian Government.”

A road to resilience                                                                      

Residents living in communities along this main road are unanimous in recognizing that since the beginning of the construction, they no longer feel threatened by rain, which often led to flooding. Channels and drainage works have been undertaken and retaining walls have also been constructed to prevent landslides.

“Now I feel proud to live in the area. I feel like I live in Pétion-ville or the other accessible areas of Port-au-Prince. Despite the fact that our communal section generates a lot of money thanks to the tourists who come to Labadie, we were a little isolated and marginalized, especially when it rained,” said Anthony Saint Preux, a resident present at the road opening ceremony.

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Revitalize the economy of the regional centers     

The World Bank is supporting the Government’s integrated approach to the development of this dynamic Grand Nord region, and this investment is part of a broad, integrated program of the World Bank Group to support sustainable mobility for all.

“It all starts with a road,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director in Haiti. “A road is a window of opportunity that opens up and facilitates the movement of people, products and services. The rehabilitation of this road shows how much this type of infrastructure can transform the economy and the lives of the residents of Cap Haïtien.”

The construction of this road is a first step toward facilitating better connectivity within the Greater Cap Haïtien area, promoting trade and the development of tourism sector.

 

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018


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