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$56M landmarks preservation project stalls, frustrating Cap-Haitien residents


CAP-HAITIEN — Haiti’s government began renovating roughly 40 houses and businesses in Cap-Haitien in January 2021 as part of a $56 million project financed by the World Bank, but the work has stalled due to administrative issues, leaving residents and business owners frustrated and helpless. 

“If a report isn’t filled properly, they [construction firms] won’t get reimbursed so they had difficulty working because they said they ran out of money,” said Polin Alexandre, a social specialist with Haiti’s Technical Execution Unit (UTE), the government office spearheading the project.

The renovation of the structures along Streets 16 and 20 is part of the Heritage Preservation and Support for the Tourism Sector (PAST) project. UTE partnered with the National Heritage Preservation Institute (ISPAN) to work on the project that aims to beautify the historic city, Alexandre said.

Alexandre said the project is estimated to end in June.

With the end date approaching, many residents are infuriated that their homes and businesses have been left in poor condition for months — left in various stages of incompletion.

“If they keep taking a long time, I will have to make a judicial decision for them to do it,” said Fritznel Charitable, the representative of one of the homes being renovated. “They destroyed my house.”

Here are some of the photos of homes and businesses that have been affected:

Eddy Lubin, a ISPAN chargé de mission, stands at the entrance of his home on March 24, 2022, where construction workers had only started to add cement . Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
As of March 24, 2022, the windows of a building on Street 16 E were covered with plywoods and the top of the structure was partly demolished. Charitable renovated the building a year and a half ago but it is being partly demolished to later make it look like the historical home in Cap-Haitien, Charitable said. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
A pedestrian looking inside Rapidite Bank, a lottery hub under renovation, on March 30, 2022. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
Through Rapidite Bank’s entrance, pedestrians could see that the walls of the lottery hub started peeling as they walked past it on March 30, 2022. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
As of March 24, 2022, the roof of this home on Street 16 was not repaired but its outside was cemented. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
This home on Street 16 still needed to be painted on March 24, 2022. Leaders of the project said they would paint the homes. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
A home on Street 20 B after construction workers peeled some of its stucco on March 30, 2022 . Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
Construction workers connecting planks together with nails on March 30, 2022. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times
The front entrance of Lubin’s home on March 30, 2022. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times

Email me at onz@haitiantimes.com
Onz Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and ESNY before joining The Haitian Times.

More by Onz Chéry

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