Rebuilding a better Haiti

Civil engineers do more than just design and construct. One of the most important jobs they do is rebuilding communities after natural disasters.

Civil engineers not only rebuilt Haiti, they also improved communities by adding things like solar streetlights.
Civil engineers not only rebuilt Haiti, they also improved communities by adding things like solar streetlights.
  • Updated: 29 June, 2015

In 2010 there was a deadly earthquake in Haiti which killed over 220,000 people. As you can imagine, this was a huge tragedy devastated the lives of many people. But thankfully, engineers working for the UN were able to help parts of the capital city (Port-au-Prince) to rise from the rubble.

Why is it important?

The aim of the UN's work was to resettle residents whose homes had been destroyed from temporary camps into rebuilt neighbourhoods.

After the earthquake, which left over a million people in Haiti homeless, it was vital to get people back living in safer, more hygienic houses in communities with more opportunities.

How was it built?

  • Repairs – civil engineers helped to repair thousands of houses. They carried out checks of more than 400,000 structures to make sure they were safe for people to live or work in
  • Rebuilt areas – they also improved other important features like sanitation and waste facilities, footpaths and access to drinking water
  • New houses – most of the old housing in Port-au-Prince was never planned and just sprang up over time. Now, civil engineers have designed new buildings and built them to a higher standard
  • Public spaces – these are more pleasant and easy to get to

Anything else of interest?

This UN project created lots of work for local people in Haiti: 95% of the workforce were from the community, and a large number were women.

Residents gained new skills from training which will help them maintain their houses. There are also new local committees that will look after their neighbourhoods.

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