Sometimes photos say as much as thousands words. Here are some photos form Port Au Prince, the capital of Haiti. I uploaded not the worst as I saw in Port Au Prince and not the best of course.
As IDB colleagues told me, a lot of the disaster waste has been removed and the situation in collection of waste and cleaning – beautification of the city has been recently improved.
However, despite recent imrpovements, the situation remains very risky for the public health and it seems that there is no easy way out, due to several political, insitutional and of course economic – financial barriers.
The conditions I met in Port Au Prince, an urban complex of more or less 2,5 million people, are probably better that the rest of the country, while some other cities like Cap-Haitien and Gonaives are facing much more serious waste collection and disposal problems.
Scavenging, as it is obvious at the photos, is an activtity for thousands people in Port of Prince, not only around the landfill but also in many small and bigger waste disposal points within and around the city.
However, plastic bottles are almost 100% recycled, due to a local industrial firm which has developed a relevant technology.
The same is true for the plastics and metal pieces that are found within the debris waste. It is supposed that within next 6-10 months all the debris waste will have been removed, although the standards for their current disposal are not always suitable. Soon I will have more information about it.
Last but not least, it seems that the main problem related waste management is a cohesive strategic approach that will unify all the involved parties (goverments, donors, banks, NGOs etc.). Although IDB has started a valuable project to rearrange waste collection, provide institutional development and radically imporved waste disposal with a new sanitary landfill, several local conflicts and controversial strategies create at least barriers and serious delays.
Next days I will write more details about the Troutier dumpsite and the informal sector there. Until then, I ask everyone to think more about it. Can we do something for Haiti? Can we support a waste management change? And how this could be done?