Haiti earthquake reconstruction could take more than five years

January 18th, 2010 - 12:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 18 (ANI): Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, could take more than five years to get back on its feet after last week’s earthquake, but long-term prospects for the country are good, say reconstruction experts.

The aid community has already started planning for Haiti, which has been mired in poverty and plagued by misrule, corruption, and debt.

Haiti’s geographical location in America’s backyard could mean it receives unprecedented outside support for a country hit by a major natural disaster, The Telegraph reports.

One international aid expert even suggested there might be a silver lining to the latest horrors, as Haiti would have the chance to rebuild from scratch.

Cameron Sinclair, a Briton who runs Architecture for Humanity, has been working with the Yele Haiti charity of rapper Wyclef Jean, and said it would be a long process.

“It’s going to take at least five years to get Haiti back on its feet and people into proper homes. The country’s housing stock was already appalling and horrific,” he said.

Susan Wachter, co-editor of Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster, said: “One of the lessons we have learned from the past is in natural disasters, there is often a man-made component.

“That’s the case here in Haiti and that makes the devastation so much more severe and tragic and difficult to deal with,” she added, citing the country’s extreme poverty, terrible building conditions and dreadful infrastructure.

And Habitat for Humanity, which has also played an important role in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, is also planning to work on “local solutions” such as helping Haitians return to even destroyed homes to retrieve materials that could be used for rebuilding. (ANI)

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