New houses for 155 families in Leogane

In the city Leogane, Haiti – a place that was still in ruins two years ago – a new hope has emerged. An incredible, 155 families moved into the first permanent houses that have been built within the local development area of “Habitat for Humanity”. All of the families living in the area were left homeless after an earthquake in January 2010. In the project’s long term goal, 500 families, or about 2,500 people should live there.

The amount of, 100 out of a total of 155, new houses were built during the “Jimmy Carter Work Project” in November 2011. As is custom with construction projects of Habitat for Humanity, the future owner is involved in building their own homes. If the “Jimmy Carter Work Project” returns to Haiti in the fall, 100 more homes will be built.

Each house in the Leogane project has a toilet. Fresh, clean drinking water can be picked up from the 14 wells within the construction area. For safety at night, the streets are lite with solar-power. In the coming years, a community health center, a school, church and safe play areas for children will be added to the project area.

The necessity of this construction project is shown through the progress that has been made so far and from the vast number of people that still need help, two years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Immediately after the earthquake, 105,000 houses had been completely destroyed and another 85,000 were heavily damaged. In January 2012, over 2 million people had been affected, still, 550,000 people are without shelter.

Immediately after the disaster Habitat for Humanity began with a rebuilding program. Two years later, 40,000 families or 200,000 people in Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Cabaret benefited from:

  • Distribution of 24,500 so-called “shelter kits”, with family planning and tools
  • Building of more than 5,000 temporary houses or expandable houses
  • Performing 12,000 damage assessments on houses
  • Repairing over 350 houses

Land remains the biggest obstacle

Despite all of the success stories, many problems still exist. “For example, it remains an unresolved problem that the unclear ownership of land to build on is a critical issue for building temporary homes and permanent homes,” said Claude Jeudy, national director of Habitat for Humanity Haiti. “Habitat is working hard to provide land for the landless families available and advocates for the establishment of a clear, fair land laws.”

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