Today’s the one year anniversary of the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, displacing more than a million people from their homes. How far has Haiti come in overcoming the disaster? Let’s take a look.
On Jan. 12, 2010, an earthquake with magnitude 7.0 struck Haiti’s capitol, Port-au-Prince — the largest in this region in over 200 years. More than 300,000 people died and up to 1.5 million were displaced. The city was leveled: damage estimates are as high as $13.2 billion.
In the month after the quake, aftershocks continued to hit Haiti. Many fled the city to the countryside to stay with friends and family members. Others set up homes in tent cities in Port-au-Prince, hoping to stay near where emergency aid (food, water, tarps, etc.) would be handed out.
A year later, more than a million people in Haiti still live in tents. Reconstruction has been slow, partly because a few wrenches were thrown into development work during 2010: a cholera outbreak in the countryside, political protest following a controversial presidential election and dangerous floods from Hurricane Tomas in November.
More than $7 billion has been donated or pledged in the last year to help Haiti recover.
Despite the challenges of working in Haiti, the disaster did organize aid workers and spur innovation in emergency response. From photographers Tweeting real-time photos in the field to crowdsourced mapping of destroyed areas — information was flowing out of Port-au-Prince faster than ever. The Knight Foundation gives the spectrum of communication technology here, check it out >
Unshaken: an update.
In March 2010, we launched Unshaken, a campaign to bring long-term clean water solutions to people in rural Haiti. By year’s end, we raised more than $1 million to help 10 communities in the rural countryside.
As we mentioned above, so much has happened in Haiti since we first started Unshaken. Here’s an update from our Water Programs Manager, Jonna Davis:
You helped us bring water to Haiti.
Thank you for your support of Haiti this past year. When we visited Haiti last March to assess Unshaken projects, we met the faces of hope and resilience — from eight-year-old Louis to 17-year-old Keisha to 70-year-old Inore. Communities were wounded, grieving and devastated; there’s no doubt that they continue to struggle now, a year after the disaster. But there is hope: they will have clean water soon. And no matter what other challenges lie ahead, we’re dedicated to helping every person in Haiti gain access to clean and safe drinking water.
from our staff: more to help us understand where Haiti is now.
- The Guardian: One year on, in pictures
- The Boston Globe: feature on Partners In Health (one of our local partners in Haiti)
- PTV’s Inside Disaster: How the earthquake changed Haiti
- Huffington Post: NGO’s in Haiti ‘doing things differently’
- NPR: stop-motion film of rural Haiti
- AlertNet: One Day in Port-au-Prince