5 years after quake, Haiti still under rubble

World Today

Haiti Earthquake Anniversary Rosena Dordor, 40, stands in front of her one-room shack in the arid hills north of the Capital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 9, 2014. Today, nearly five years after the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti, Dordor lives with her husband and three children in a one-room shack with a plastic tarp for a roof and walls made of scrap metal and salvaged wood. It’s perched on a cactus- and scrub-covered hillside, a long walk from the nearest source of water, and meals are cooked over fire pits. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

Scars from the earthquake that devastated Haiti five years ago can still be seen on the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince. Thousands are still struggling to eke out a living among the ruins, while the government blames a shortage of funds for the slow pace of reconstruction work.

The January 2010 earthquake killed 300,000 people but the exact toll is unknown as there was no systematic effort to count bodies amid the chaos and destruction.

Teams from around the world, including U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, tried to rescue those trapped in rubble and treat the vast number of people wounded in the disaster. The peacekeepers presence, however, was linked to a cholera strand that led to an outbreak that killed more than 8,000 people and sickened more than 700,000.

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And without additional international aid for adequate health facilities and reconstruction plans, more than one million people have been living in makeshift sites across the country.

Broken bricks and tiles still lie scattered on the ground in some areas of the city, and many newly built structures remain unfinished. The rioting and looting that marred the country in the immediate aftermath of the disaster has largely ended.

Now, the problem is lack of money.

“I believe that security is not the major challenge any more. I think that it was at one point. I think that we’ve reached a level of security that compares to other countries, I think that now has to come economic development for the country,” Serge Therriault, police commissioner for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, said.

Evans Paul, the country’s prime minister-designate and former Port-au-Prince mayor, said Haiti should try to make itself a more attractive destination for investment.

“We can seek development through investment, domestic investments, investments from overseas compatriots, or foreign investments. We convey our sincere thanks to some countries that have been with us and made joint efforts with us. But I think Haiti should rely on itself for development and make it a better place for foreign investment,” he said.

This report was complied with information from CCTV News and The Associated Press