Press note

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation reminds the authorities that seismic threats are still present in Haiti and the country is still vulnerable

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation reminds the authorities that seismic threats are still present in Haiti and the country is still vulnerable

Thirteen years after the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010, state authorities have shown no desire to reduce the number of victims during natural events. Which could always cause humanitarian disasters in a country already vulnerable in terms of infrastructure and knowledge. Since January 2010, this violent earthquake occurred, leaving around 300,000 dead and 1,500,000 homeless. There has never been the slightest decision at the state level regarding construction standards in the country. 13 years later, families living in slums are more numerous and continue to live in extreme poverty. Basic social services are not always accessible. They are denials of social and economic rights while millions of US dollars are spent by the government as well as by international organizations and non-governmental organizations without conscience.

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, an organization for the defense and promotion of children’s rights, wants to remind leaders of the dangers faced by a large part of the population in the face of earthquake risks. Several lives remain in danger, including those of children. The accelerated deterioration of the living conditions of the population, those living in provincial towns and in communal areas, has led to the rural exodus of residents. This has contributed to the slum development of most neighborhoods, uncontrolled construction and non-compliance with urbanization standards in the country. While it is true that each individual has the right to decent housing that poses no risk to safety and health, in Haiti families find themselves most of the time facing dangers linked to natural events. In addition, they face organized crime and gang violence tolerated by the government in place and the country’s economic elite.

Indeed, despite the harm caused by the violent earthquake of January 12, 2010, which left a large number of Haitian families bereaved, disabled thousands of people, destroyed thousands of houses, created thousands of homeless people, the Authorities have done nothing to discourage citizens from this suicidal practice. No real decisions are ever made to control and reduce disaster risks. Whereas, for years, experts and seismologists from the Bureau of Mines have reported to the authorities and to the population in particular that the Island is located on a major tectonic fault zone separating the Caribbean and North American plates. Geological studies in Haiti have made it possible to identify two main fault zones likely to generate earthquakes.
Unfortunately, we still see overpopulation in large cities. The non-intervention of State services, such as Town Halls, and the Public Enterprise for the Promotion of Social Housing (EPPLS) in charge of Urbanization and housing which has still not responded to its mission, which is to prepare, program, carry out and manage within the framework of the national social housing policy. Still, seismologists fear an earthquake of greater magnitude than that of January 12, 2010.

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, as a watchdog, wants to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the threats hovering over the life and security of the Haitian population, particularly children, and moreover, encourages the taking of drastic measures in order to reduce uncontrolled construction in the country and help families who do not enjoy their right to decent housing.


Done in Port-au-Prince, January 12, 2023

Joseph Richard FORTUNÉ
Tel: 509 31 87 7363 / 3387 06 88
Communication manager