Is it difficult to remember the images that poured out of Haiti after a 7.0-magnitutde earthquake struck the country five years ago today on Jan. 12, 2010? Whole buildings folded onto themselves, roads broke apart, hospitals, schools and homes were destroyed. An estimated 200-300,000 were killed, and more than 1.5 million made homeless. Aid workers and journalists rushed to help and report, but many described a chaotic scene upon arrival with supplies scarce and travel by road nearly impossible.
The world was watching then. But what has happened in the five years since? In a message on Monday’s anniversary, the Organization for American States (OAS) said “94 percent of households displaced as a result of the earthquake have been relocated,” and that there is much to celebrate in terms of the reconstruction, economic growth and creation of jobs. Meanwhile, the BBC reports a slow recovery with 80,000 still living in tent camps and tensions over delayed elections. CBC News describes remembrance ceremonies alongside protests.
The earthquake prompted the Red Cross’ largest single-country response in its history. The Canadian Red Cross continues its work there, including a large-scale shelter project and reconstruction of local hospitals.
Photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell was recently in Haiti to document those efforts. His photo essay, Haiti five years on: An Fòm!, is on exhibit in Toronto at various locations including Toronto City Hall until Jan. 16 and in Vancouver at the Royal Centre until Jan. 31. It is also available online. Some of the photographs included in that exhibit are seen here, below.
Nippes region of Haiti, where the Canadian and Haitian Red Cross work together on disaster risk reduction, health and violence prevention.