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Guito: A Neighborhood to be Proud of

Published 02/03/2015 by Global Communities

Guito: A Neighborhood to be Proud of
By Jude Martinez Claircidor, Global Communities Haiti Communications Consultant
Guito, a slum in Carrefour Feuilles, a poor residential section of Port-au-Prince, was hit hard by the earthquake in 2010. Until recently, more than 300 families there lived in make-shift shelters that did little to keep the elements out, thus exacerbating their already precarious hygienic conditions. And like other residents of informal settlements all over Haiti, they had no choice but to endure poor infrastructure, and limited access to roads, electricity and drinking water. Sanitation was extremely limited, and they had no services such as an educational institutions, vocational training center or health center.

Jean Fritz Etienne
Jean Fritz Etienne, 24, lives in a temporary shelter in Guito. His house collapsed in the earthquake. But soon he will have a new home built by Build Change, a partner of the LAMIKA program. LAMIKA (Lavi Nan Miyò Katye Pam) is a Red-Cross-supported integrated, urban neighborhood reconstruction and recovery program in Carrefour Feuilles. Meaning “a better life in my neighborhood,” LAMIKA enhances community and household resiliency through a sustainable and integrated approach that provides healthy, habitable, and secure living conditions. LAMIKA’s three components are social empowerment, economic strengthening and physical renewal. Global Communities and its partner Build Change are responsible for implementing the physical renewal component; they have expanded the main road in Guito to allow easier access for vehicles and pedestrians. Global Communities is enhancing delivery of water and sanitation and supporting educational institutions. Build Change is improving housing safety, as well as expanding the number of housing units.
The project entailed rehabilitation of 85 linear meters of roads and corridors including the expansion of the road, the construction of a drainage canal and the installation of four solar street lights, improving not only the look of the neighborhood, but making it safer for residents.
Jean Fritz remembers when the access road was uneven, rocky and muddy during the rainy season. “Before, when it rained the water came into the home and the narrowness of the corridor made it difficult for residents to access it,” he says. “Now the work has changed the situation. The water flows in canals and does not invade our homes and soon the residents can move easily in the corridor.”

Rosilia Jean
Rosilia Jean, 67, is also happy with the improvements to the area, saying that it is, “The first time this work was carried out in the community. I loved the work. It helped give a new lease of life in the area, and now I’m extremely proud of my neighborhood.”
“It helped give a new lease of life in the area, and now I’m extremely proud of my neighborhood.” —Rosilia Jean, Guito resident