UNOPS is responding to Haiti’s vast infrastructure needs through a broad variety of projects. In one such project, funded by the World Bank, UNOPS has provided emergency infrastructure services to stabilize the Jacmel Road.
The January 2010 earthquake left behind a scene of devastation and desolation in Haiti. More than 200,000 people were killed with thousands more injured. Almost 1.5 million people were forced to leave homes which had either been completely destroyed or damaged.
UNOPS is responding to Haiti’s vast infrastructure needs through a broad variety of projects, including assessment and rehabilitation of public institutions, schools, hospitals, roads, and drainage systems.
In one such project, funded by the World Bank, UNOPS has provided emergency infrastructure services to stabilize the Jacmel Road, also known as Route nationale No.4. This road links Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Jacmel, and constitutes a critical route through the heart of earthquake-affected areas, home to some 600,000 inhabitants.
The project was implemented in support of the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, and in collaboration with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). A MINUSTAH engineering team from the contingent of the Republic of Korea, provided the heavy machinery.
This is another example of an effective partnership between MINUSTAH and UNOPS in Haiti – making the most of the dedication and resources of the troops and the technical expertise of UNOPS.
Road rehabilitation results
Before the project Route No.4 between Port-au-Prince and Jacmel was in danger of complete collapse.
Building on expertise from a similar project on the Martissant Road before the earthquake, the UNOPS teams rehabilitated the road between April and October 2010.
More than 300 Haitian workers stabilized the surface of 24 kilometres of road, cleaned 22 kilometres of drains, and constructed some 600 cubic metres of stone retaining walls.
The emergency rehabilitation of the Jacmel Road improved access for aid delivery, commerce, early recovery, and security - boosting the standard of life for local communities.
In addition to this, two new road projects, utilizing similar labour-based approaches, will soon be launched in and around the urban and rural areas of Bainet in the South-East and Ouanaminthe in the North-East.
Besides the repair works, a central aspect of the project focused on generating incomes for local people through the use of a labour-based approach. Securing jobs and ensuring a minimum family income goes a long way towards empowering families and promoting early economic recovery.
UNOPS hired 330 Haitians from earthquake-affected and poor neighbourhoods, generating more than 40,000 ‘labour days’.
UNOPS also sought to build capacity by training the local population in road rehabilitation processes and maintenance. In particular, Haitian masons were trained in the construction of retaining walls and road workers were trained in the use of ‘pre-mix’ asphalt and the sealing of platform cracks.
UNOPS expertise in developing the right combination of manual labour and equipment, supervised by a UNOPS engineering team, leads to high quality roads which require less maintenance.