Four years after the 2010 earthquake 30 families in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti still need to reconstruct or repair their houses.
The family of Yves Caruis and Maryse Leger live in the village of Digner, in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. They make a living of what Yves can cultivate in their small plot of land and of what Maryse can sell walking the streets of the city with her tray full of fruits and bread. Their three children are lucky and go to a nearby school in the village of La Hatte Drouillard, because Digner never had a school and the one in La Hatte Drouillard fortunately still stands. After the devastating earthquake of 2010, the Caruis family lost their house, built after painstaking efforts in 2007 with the support of an NGO, and have still not been able to rebuild it.
As thousand of Haitians, the Caruis have lived in improvised shelters built on the ruins of their destroyed houses or in spontaneous camps sprouting all over the city. Haiti has been half- stuck in an extremely slow process of recovery and reconstruction, so slow that four years after the quake, the emergency phase still seems ongoing. Other villages near Digner were also badly damaged by the earthquake, with over 80% of the homes were damaged or destroyed. Ruins and debris are a major obstruction to reconstruction efforts, but there is a potential to reclaim this space and re-use what is possible from existing walls and foundations.
We will rebuild simple houses, based on the traditional Haitian Kay House, which typically have one or two rooms with a porch providing space to sit outside. The idea is to build new, stronger elevated houses that shade the existing walls that remain standing and allowing the community to re-occupy these ruins turning them back into useful space. We believe in rebuilding not only houses but communities and their histories and identities, by persisting in re-building where their livelihoods already are.