UNOPS

19/05/2014

New earthquake-resistant headquarters for police in Haiti

A new earthquake-resistant police headquarters has replaced prefabricated containers in Port-au-Prince, under a project to strengthen the rule of law in Haiti.

The new headquarters of the Haitian National Police Inspectorate General is the first public building designed specifically for the needs of the national police force. Previous headquarters were located in private houses or containers that did not have the necessary facilities.

UNOPS managed the construction of the building, with funding from the Government of Canada and on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

KEY FACTS

Main stakeholders

  • Government of Canada
  • UNDP
  • Haitian National Police
  • United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
  • UNOPS

 

Background

The Inspectorate General is responsible for assessing the efficiency with which the Haitian National Police performs its mission to promote public security, by managing the human, logistical and financial assets of the force. It is also responsible for investigating any public complaints or allegations of human rights violations by the police.

Sustainable design

Inaugurated in 2013, the new building provides 120 employees with 75 modern offices designed to improve the flow of communication between staff. As well as being hurricane and earthquake-resistant it is also designed to save energy. The building’s design harvests rainwater for toilets and includes a three-story high open space in the middle of the building that provides natural light and ventilation for the offices. The building also contains a cafeteria, gym and server room as well as interrogation and detention rooms and is fully accessible for people with reduced mobility.

In addition, since the project began in 2007 the police force has received vehicles and equipment worth around $2.7 million, including computer systems specializing in finance, human resources, inquiry management and fingerprint identification. UNOPS has managed all of the procurement activities for the project. 

Eric Chériska, Chief Inspector of the Haitian National Police commented on the new building saying, "without a doubt, this building offers an initial solution to the crucial problem of infrastructure which was a recurring problem at the Inspectorate General headquarters".

KEY FACTS

Budget

$5.8 million

Resources and equipment provided

  • New headquarters for the Haitian National Police
  • Armoured and non-armoured patrol vehicles
  • Computer equipment

Computer systems specializing in:

  • Finance

  • Human resources

  • Inquiry management

  • Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)


 

 

Challenges

Soon after UNOPS first began construction of the headquarters in 2009, the January 2010 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince. Although damage to the site was minimal, the building did require some repair as well as structural reinforcement.

Capacity development

To correct the structural damage caused by the earthquake and make the building earthquake resilient in the future, UNOPS hired an international firm, Miyamoto International, to train a local firm on structural reinforcement – the first Haitian firm to undertake a project of this complexity.
     
"This project is a great example of the way UNOPS develops local expertise, as it was the first time that a public building in Haiti was earthquake-proofed. Our approach was to provide international expertise and mentoring to our national contractors. The suppliers of the materials and equipment required to perform these reinforcement works have also provided on-site training to the local workers," explained project manager, Jean-François Laurent.

Throughout the project, Haitian partners were consulted and UNOPS with the support UNDP provided technical expertise to the two local firms contracted for construction and supervision. The project created approximately 25,000 working days for Haitian workers.

Disaster risk reduction in Haiti

Working with the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communication, UNOPS provides technical and administrative support for the preparation of guidelines on increased earthquake resilience and cyclone resistance for new buildings. UNOPS develops innovative disaster risk reduction solutions to minimize the impact of natural hazards by drawing on the experience of its specialized engineers and project managers.

UNOPS in focus