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Avellon Williams

CAP-HAITIEN, HAITI- It is ranked as the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere with a population of over 10 million people, fighting to improve living conditions for decades.

For a long time, Haiti has been plagued by poverty, gang violence, and political instability. These are just some of the many problems it has faced. The country’s economy has been destroyed by natural disasters like hurricanes which killed more than 500 people and caused $2 billion in damage to crops and infrastructure and earthquakes that killed more than 200,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless

With the help of the World Bank, as part of a $56 million project financed, the Haitian Government began renovating about 40 houses and businesses in Cap-Haitien in January 2021, which has stalled due to administrative problems, leading to frustration and a sense of helplessness among residents and business owners.

Polin Alexandre, a social specialist with Haiti’s Technical Executive Unit (UTE), responsible for overseeing the project stated, “If a report isn’t filed properly, they [construction firms] won’t get reimbursed so they had difficulty working because they said they ran out of money.” 

Alexandre said the renovation of the structures along Streets 16 and 20 is part of the Heritage Preservation and Support for the Tourism Sector (PAST) project. UTE partnered with the National Heritage Preservation Institute (ISPAN) to work on the project that aims to beautify the historic city.

The project is expected to be completed by June, according to Alexandre.

As the end date approaches, many residents are angry that their homes and businesses have been left in poor condition for months – left in various stages of unfinished work.

“If they keep taking a long time, I will have to make a judicial decision for them to do it,” said Fritznel Charitable, the representative of one of the homes being renovated. “They destroyed my house.”

Below is a gallery of photos of some of the homes and businesses that have been affected:

Eddy Lubin, an ISPAN chargé de mission, stands at the entrance of his home where construction workers had only started to add cement /Image, THT/
Construction workers started cementing the outside of ANAGAA Boutique clothing store in January 2021, left that month to return in March, and finished in August of that year. ANAGAA Boutique’s owner Nadege Joseph cannot count how many customers she lost because cementing the outside of the business took so long. As of March 30, 2022, the renovation was still not completed since the structure needs to be painted /Image, THT/
As of March 24, 2022, the windows of a building on Street 16 E were covered with plywoods and the top of the structure was partly demolished. Charitable renovated the building a year and a half ago but it is being partly demolished to later make it look like the historical home in Cap-Haitien, Charitable said /Image, THT/
Through Rapidite Bank’s entrance, pedestrians could see that the walls of the lottery hub started peeling as they walked past it on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/
A hole in the ceiling of Rapidite Bank on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/
As of March 24, 2022, the roof of this home on Street 16 was not repaired but its outside was cemented /Image, THT/
This home on Street 16 still needed to be painted on March 24, 2022. Leaders of the project said they would paint the homes, /Image, THT/
The top of a home that has yet started to get renovated pictured on March 24, 2022 /Image, THT/
A home on Street 20 B after construction workers peeled some of its stucco on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/
A construction worker looking at the street as he takes a nail out of a plank on March 16, 2022 /Image, THT/
Construction workers connecting planks together with nails on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/
The front entrance of Lubin’s home on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/
A construction worker on the outside of a structure on March 24, 2022, /Image, THT/
Residents near a home that still needs to be painted on March 30, 2022 /Image, THT/

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Avellon Williams

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