Chuck Setchell of USAID presents at headquarters on Haiti rebuilding

Published on 16 June 2010

Author(s): Architecture for Humanity/Sarah Bush

Type:  News

Chuck Setchell with the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) visited us during our weekly Lunch and Learn session. He is preparing to return to Haiti and wanted to share with us how the agency is helping Haitians find shelter. He talked about some of the challenges to resettlement efforts, which include the vast amount of rubble left over by the earthquake, land tenure issues and the lack of recovery plans by the Haitian government.

Chuck said that past experience suggests that the population in Port au Prince and other cities will increase, not decrease, so aid groups needs to 'think big' to help the affected population. For now, the agency is assessing emergency shelters in affected areas to prepare for the hurricane season.

Here are some interesting facts from his presentation as collected by Cameron on his twitter account:

  • "Shelter solutions tend to be euro-centric. There are not that many Americans doing this"
  • Neighborhood based transitional shelter assistance. CHF creating housing compounds for 1000 families. Almost complete. 
  • "Planned camps worst option" for Haiti. Birth of slum cities. 
  • 1300 to 1400 informal camps in port au prince. 
  • 80,000 structures have been evaluated in port au prince with 40% safe to rehouse. 
  • Mirebalais families not waiting for NGOs building housing from "bush sticks" 
  • Haiti needs common pipeline for materials and housing. Chuck from USAID 
  • Target living space 3.5 sq. m w 1.71 sq. m for bed. #Haiti rebuild 
  • 5 opt laid out. 1. Return to safe shelter 2. Return to safe, cleared plots 3. Stay w host family 4. Stay in neighborhood 5. Relocate 
  • In past 12 years there has not been US gov funds put towards permanent housing post disaster. This must change. 
  • 100% "coverage" of 302,977 people in need of shelter by May 2 
  • Sheet 4 sheet program. Replacing bed sheet tents with waterproof tents. Massive success. 
  • To clear port au prince we need 1000 truckloads of rubble removal for 1000 days (Haiti is no where near this target.) 
  • Chuck talking about context, context, context. "in port au prince, 70% of population doesn't officially exist on paper"
  • Chuck also brought a handout on USAID's approach to shelter and settlement activities, which you can download below:

Attachment: usaid_shelter_approach.pdf (178.74 KB)


Back to previous page