Earthquake Resistant School Reconstruction

Much of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Haiti’s education provision was inadequate before the earthquake. Afterwards 3,978 schools in Haiti were damaged or destroyed¹.

The earthquake was 7.0 on the Richter scale¹, and killed over 200,000 people¹.   

The level of devastation in Haiti was largely due to the poor construction of buildings, which crumbled, failing to protect their inhabitants. This becomes clear when contrasted  with a magnitude-8.8 earthquake that struck the same year in Chile, and resulted in a death toll in the hundreds².

The Boisrond Tonnerre School, well-respected in Port-au-Prince, collapsed as a result of deficient materials and a poor structure. This project supports the reconstruction of this school, so students do not need to attend lessons in hot and crowded emergency relief tents.

A skilled team of architects and engineers is currently working on an earthquake and hurricane resistant design. The team aims to improve natural ventilation and lighting to create a better, climate appropriate learning environment. Construction is scheduled to begin in the autumn. By involving and training local construction workers the project will pass on essential skills, making sure that the knowledge to create future buildings that are safe and earthquake resistant is left behind.

Photos of the our recent site visit can be found on Facebook.

¹UN, Haiti Earthquake Response, 8 Jan 2011

²Encyclopedia Britannia, Chile Earthquake of 2010

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