Just back from Port au Prince, Haiti... utter devastation and desolation everywhere.
Desolation in infrastructure with buildings and rubble still lying where they emptied onto the streets after the earthquake of January 12 2010. That event triggered worldwide shock and sympathy for all in Haiti. For those living in Haiti and who survived the earthquake it marked the beginning of a life that is even more miserable than what existed before. Hundreds of millions of dollars of aid was promised by Governments around the world, celebrities such as George Clooney organised very successful fundraisers, etc; but as of last week I saw little evidence of any improvement to peoples’ lives from these commitments. Life in Port-au-Prince continues on top of the fallen rubble, makeshift stalls selling everything are positioned precariously close to the side of the road and up against constant log-jammed traffic together with thousands of Haitians on foot.
I don’t know why, but my attention, as well as much of the world’s attention, has moved on. But moved on to what? Snow unable to be cleared from New York? Shoppers queuing for bargains at Christmas sales? How have these events ever been able to compete with the Haitian tragedy that is a just a 90 minute flight south of Miami? But the news crews have pulled out and the living nightmare of daily life continues for millions of Haitians. It is appalling to see hundreds of thousands of people trying to get through their day in such filthy conditions.
In the middle of this total desolation I was fortunate to see a tiny glimmer of hope. It’s called the Marché-de-Fer (The Iron Market). Prior to the earthquake it was a densely packed market of vendors selling everything from crafts and fresh food to toothpaste and other paraphernalia. This market was flattened in the earthquake, but has been rebuilt over the past twelve months by Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel, in conjunction with the Mayor of Port au Prince, Muscadin Jean-Yves Jason.
It's an incredible sight...amongst all of the carnage and chaos in Port-au-Prince, now looming high and proud is the gleaming facade and clock tower of the Marché-de-Fer, again bearing the name of president Hyppolite and the year it arrived in Port au Prince, 1889. Below it now, with the terrible first anniversary of 12 January approaching, frantic welding, cement block-work and painting is being
completed by the hundreds of workers which Denis O’Brien of Digicel has hired to complete this incredible building.
Mark Roden visited Haiti on 30 December 2010. The Marché-de-Fer is being officially opened on 12 January 2011 in Port-au-Prince
Vist the ezetop YouTube Channel - Rebuilding Marché en Fer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Vist the ezetop YouTube Channel - Rebuilding Haiti - Mark Roden CEO ezetop visit to Haiti