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First Person: One 12 months on from Haiti earthquake, time to return dwelling


“When the earthquake struck, I had no thought what it was as I had by no means skilled one thing so loud and dramatic earlier than. I assumed it was an act of God and I used to be terrified.

My complete home was shaking so I rushed exterior with my daughter to see what was occurring, and I spotted it was a tremor from beneath the earth. Then a part of my home collapsed, and huge cracks appeared in its cinder block partitions.

UN Haiti/Daniel Dickinson

The non permanent camp opened in Devirel 4 days after the August 2021 earthquake.

The group got here collectively

We have been fortunate, as a result of no-one in my household was injured, however I knew many neighbours who died. The group, which is rural and made up of farmers and folks shopping for and promoting items, got here collectively and we helped one another. We saved many youngsters by digging them from beneath the rubble.

I believe the earthquake made us stronger as a group and that helped us after we moved into this non permanent camp in Devirel on the sting of the town of Les Cayes, simply 5 days after we fled from our dwelling.

Life right here could be very robust. We dwell, in twos and threes, in small shelters constructed from plastic sheeting. It is sizzling as a result of there are not any timber right here and when it rains it is vitally muddy. There isn’t a lot to eat, however we proceed to take care of one another and share the small quantity of meals that we now have.

UN assist

When we arrived, we obtained plenty of assist from the United Nations*. We obtained a hygiene equipment and have been in a position to make use of a rest room which had been constructed for us. I obtained some money funds so I might afford to hold on sending my daughter to highschool and at one level she obtained free college meals.

My aunt additionally obtained some monetary help as she is disabled and significantly weak. I’m very grateful for this assist.

Sometimes, I can earn cash by serving to to reap a neighbour’s crops, nevertheless it’s tough to search out work, so I’ve to dwell on little or no. It’s tough to alter one’s life if you happen to don’t have the monetary means to take action. I wish to return to my dwelling with my daughter, however I’m too scared to do this earlier than I restore it. So, I’ll try to avoid wasting cash to make the repairs.

One 12 months after the earthquake, I’m nonetheless optimistic for the long run; I do know I can depend on myself and my group for a greater life.”

*A spread of UN businesses offered assist to Plaisimond Milaure and her neighbours, together with money transfers for weak and disabled folks in addition to to assist the education of children (International Organization for Migration, IOM) hygiene kits (IOM and UNFPA) rest room amenities (UNICEF) and college meals, World Food Programme, WFP. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinated the UN’s post-earthquake response.

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