Les Cayes, Haiti — An unprecedented massive damage assessment has been completed in Haiti for the purpose of starting the reconstruction process. In the aftermath of the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake of August 2021, the Haitian Ministry of Public Works (MTPTC) initiated earthquake damage and repair assessments across the affected regions south of the island in partnership with UNOPS (United Nations Office of Project Services) and Miyamoto International as technical partners. The project was financed by the World Bank.
More than 550 Haitian engineers and social communicators were trained and equipped with advanced technology to not only track damage indexes, but also identify repair methods and costs in real-time. Each engineer and social communicator was assigned to one of 20 divisions, which were then sent to the affected areas to perform assessments with an advanced application and geographic information recording system.
In an astonishing five months, these teams assessed 179,861 buildings in extremely challenging terrain such as steep mountains, jungles, and dense urban areas. 1.2 million people were reached during the course of the assessments.
110,000 (61% of total) buildings were found to be damaged. 8,700 (5% of total) are collapsed. Utilizing the latest in assessment app technology, we found that 73,000 (70% of damage) can be rapidly repaired.
Real-time calculations of repair methods and material quantity were made by the assessment app. A QR code containing linking to a detailed repair report was attached to each household for easy access by the homeowners.
MTPTC determined next steps should involve building capacity for self-repair for both masons and home residents as well as critical structures, such as schools and hospitals.
The program revealed that 70% of schools on the island are damaged and unusable, but that most can be quickly repaired and reopened.
This critical program has not only efficiently provided directions for the next phases of reconstruction but has also provided affected Haitian families with hope and life-saving information on their homes and businesses.