These two photos can be found in an impressive piece of investigative journalism prepared by Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW or Ayiti Kale Je), titled: “The Morne à Cabri Mystery Houses”.
HGW reports that this development, 10km east of Port-au-Prince and in the middle of nowhere, will eventually include 3000 of these “tiny” square concrete pillboxes. To get some perspective on what 3000 might look like, all in rows, a mere 178 units are visible in the top photo.
Presumably the project is designed to house Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) – aka Haitians living in tent camps. HGW’s astounding report asks a slew of unanswered questions, including such basic things as: “Who owns the land? What is the budget? Who is overseeing the development?”
Who on earth designed this deplorable complex? HGW describes it as being located in a “quasi-desert”. It looks to me like some kind of internment camp, or a strange penitentiary where each inmate is housed in a stand alone cell.
How one goes about describing Morne à Cabri is not difficult: desolate, brutal, rigidly uniform and repetitious, culturally inappropriate and devoid of style. Recall all the talk about the importance of people centered reconstruction soon after Haiti’s calamitous quake. What happened?
My own questions:
Are there medical services?
Are there water sources?
Are there areas for growing food?
Are there schools (books, paper, library), churches, meeting places, shops?
What of waste management?