Clearing Haiti Could Take Years, Cost Billions

    The massive task of rebuilding quake-devastated Haiti could not start unless leveled structures and all quake debris are destroyed and cleared out to free space for new construction, IPS reports.

    Estimates place the cost of decluttering Haiti at USD1 billion, and hauling away debris could take years.

    “I have heard the president (Haitian President Rene Preval) say that based on what the engineers tell him, it will take 1,000 dump trucks working for 1,000 days to clear away the debris, and I am not sure even the experts know how big is the pile,” said architect, diplomat and reconstruction team member Leslie Voltaire.

    That estimate could even be a brighter one with the city still lacking dump sites and recycling centers and hauling time likely to be delayed because of crammed roadways in Port-au-Prince.

    “How long did it take to remove the twin towers after 9/11? It took them two years, and that was in New York City, and it cost a lot of money. We are in Port-au-Prince, and our government doesn’t have any money,” said Philippe Cineas, director general of concrete block maker and construction company Haiti Blocs.

    About the author

    • Tarra Quismundo

      Tarra Quismundo joined Devex Manila as a staff writer in October 2009 after more than six years of working as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a nationwide daily, for which she covered major breaking news in politics, military, police and international affairs. Tarra's Devex News coverage focuses on key Asian donors and top aid officials around the globe.