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Disaster prevention: Haiti prepares for earthquakes

Haiti is practising for an emergency

The people are prepared for the next disaster

A road near Petit Goâve is being rebuilt. © Herzau
A road near Petit Goâve is being rebuilt. © Herzau
Communities have established committees for disaster prevention. © Herzau
Communities have established committees for disaster prevention. © Herzau
The people in Haiti are now better prepared to face natural disasters. © Colombo
The people in Haiti are now better prepared to face natural disasters. © Colombo

Haiti – The inhabitants of the Caribbean state will never forget the devastating destruction caused by the earthquake in January 2010. Many factors contribute to a high risk of catastrophe here: The extreme deforestation of the countryside and settlement on unprotected water catchment areas is accelerating erosion; hurricanes rage across the country, destroying streets, houses and fields; farmland and roads are washed away following heavy rainfall.

Welthungerhilfe is supporting 271,000 people in three communities in southern Haiti: Jacmel, Petit Goâve and Grand Goâve. The aim is to better prepare inhabitants for natural disasters and their consequences. Ten brigades and committees are being established in each of the three communities. Committee members are in charge of decision-making in case of an emergency and are developing an early warning system to enable the timely evacuation of people.

Well prepared for disasters

The brigades react on the ground and provide first aid. A total of 1,800 people are active in the two groups – besides authorities, they include prominent people, village presidents, spiritual leaders and the local population. In addition, a disaster management committee at the district level includes representatives from the district authorities and civil society, the fire service, the Red Cross, the police and the scouts. They function as a network and incorporate disaster management into their development planning. Representatives of the various ministries and scientific institutes are involved at the national level.

Working together as a network

In order to ensure that the population learns more about disaster risk reduction, Welthungerhilfe is creating reports and features for the radio, television and newspapers together with journalists. Cooperations with Haitian artists in workshops are also designed to bring the issues of climate change and disaster prevention to public attention. The measures for disaster prevention in Haiti are co-funded by the Disaster Preparedness Programme of the European Community Humanitarian Office (DIPECHO).

The aid measures are financially supported by EuropeAid.

Current reports
Houses for my country

Houses for my country

Five years after the earthquake in Haiti

(January 2015) In the powerful earthquake of 2010, 217,000 people died and 2.3 million became homeless. Engineer Joseph Edner is building new houses together with his compatriots. He asks that: “We Haitians must be actors in our own development.”

A rocky road to recovery

A rocky road to recovery

Five years after the earthquake in Haiti

(January 2015) The 2010 earthquake brought much suffering to Merilien Hyacinthe. But today he is proud. His crops are good and he can send his children to school again.

Agriculture rewards

Agriculture rewards

The north of Haiti is getting prepared for crises with new cultivation techniques

Haiti's northern region is extremely poor, and the area is regularly visited by natural disasters. Welthungerhilfe helps the inhabitants of the small city of Jean Rabel to prepare for future crises.

Planning for disasters

Planning for disasters

Interview: life in Haiti three years after the earthquake

(January 2013) In January 2010, Haiti was struck by an earthquake: within seconds, everything lay in ruins. To ensure that the next disaster is not as devastating, emergency aid must be integrated into daily life, says Rafaël Schneider.

Video

Video (2015): Welthungerhilfe has been working in Haiti since 2006 – in the Millennium Village of Poirier. Watch the video to find out what has changed for people and what they expect for their future.

Further information