Image: Sebastian Lamoth, 8, left, poses for a photo at his home with his cousin Joseph Rood
Ramon Espinosa  /  AP
Sebastian Lamoth, 8, left, poses for a photo at his home with his cousin Joseph Rood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Monday. Lamoth's leg was amputated due to an injury suffered in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. Almost one year has passed since the magnitude-7.0 quake that killed more than 220,000 people and left millions homeless.
By
updated 1/11/2011 7:31:39 PM ET 2011-01-12T00:31:39

The man's body lay face down, his white dress shirt shining like wax in the sun, as he was unearthed in the ruins of a Port-au-Prince restaurant a year after the earthquake.

The bodies still being found in the rubble are a sign of how far Haiti has to go to recover from a disaster that left the capital in ruins and is estimated to have killed more than 230,000 people.

As the dust was still settling from the Jan. 12, 2010 disaster, volunteers and hundreds of aid groups flocked in with food, water and first aid that saved countless lives. But the effort to rebuild has been dwarfed by the size of the tragedy, the extent of the need and, perhaps most fatally, the lack of Haitian and international leadership and of coordination of more than 10,000 non-governmental organizations.

    1. Castaway's parents thought they would never see him again

      The father of Pacific castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he was told his long-lost son vanished on a fishing trip but he didn’t have the heart to break the news to his ailing wife.

    2. Scotland legalizes same-sex marriage
    3. Weapons deal strengthened Assad: US intel chief
    4. Outcry over the fate of Sochi's stray dogs
    5. Olympic construction leaves Sochi residents in the cold

President Rene Preval did not speak publicly for days after the quake. He has been seen by most Haitians as ineffective at best, and many observers have criticized him for not spearheading a coherent reconstruction or making the hard policy decisions needed to rebuild.

Preval and Haitian officials stress that their government was weak and underfunded to begin with, then devastated, and never really recovered from the earthquake. Ministries were relocated but could not replace vast numbers of staff killed in the quake or material lost in the destruction.

Advocacy groups also blame much of the Haitian government's weakness on an international community that is not keeping its pledge of support.

"The international community has not done enough to support good governance and effective leadership in Haiti," the aid group Oxfam said in a recent report. "Aid agencies continue to bypass local and national authorities in the delivery of assistance, while donors are not coordinating their actions or adequately consulting the Haitian people."

Ericq Pierre, Haiti's representative to the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, said "the problem is that at a certain point the international community gave the impression they could solve the problem quickly. ... I think there was an excess of optimism."

Street markets were soon up and running after the quake and Port-au-Prince's traffic is worse than ever. On Tuesday, Preval, his wife and other officials lay flowers at symbolic black crosses marking a mass grave outside Port-au-Prince where hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims were buried.

Prosthetic limbs give quake survivors chance to rise

"We have this memory in our heads and our hearts and etched on our bodies. We will never forget them. This is hallowed ground," Preval said.

But from the barren hillside, the destruction is clearly visible. The slogan "build back better," touted by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and others even before the quake, remains an unfulfilled promise.

Less than 5 percent of debris has been cleared, leaving enough to fill dump trucks parked bumper to bumper halfway around the world. In the broken building where the dead man was discovered, workers hired to clear rubble by hand found two other people's remains.

  1. Related story
    1. for msnbc.com
      Children of rape are latest legacy of Haiti quake

      Social breakdown fuels sexual violence and its aftermath in disaster-ravaged tent cities

About a million people remain homeless and neighborhood-sized homeless camps look like permanent shantytowns on the fields and plazas of the capital. A cholera epidemic erupted outside the earthquake zone that has killed more than 3,600 people, and an electoral crisis between Preval's ruling party and its rivals threaten to break an increasingly fragile political stability.

Progress has been slow across the board, starting with the omnipresent rubble.

The U.S.-based RAND organization said donors and the Haitian government are responsible for more not being cleared. Haitian workers are not given personal equipment while heavy lifters have been blocked by customs officials at the border, the report said. The government has also not designated sufficient dumping space.

"Unless rubble is cleared expeditiously, hundreds of thousands of Haitians will still be in tent camps during the 2011 hurricane season" — which runs from June through November, the report said.

Story: Full recovery for 'miracle' Haiti quake survivor

Construction of new housing has barely begun. The core underlying issue of sorting out Haiti's broken system of land ownership, where several people hold claim to the same plot of land, has not even been addressed. Without sorting out land ownership, there is nowhere to build.

Internationally financed inspectors have certified that some houses are safe for residents to return, but few have. Many are merely moving their shacks closer to where they used to live, because they don't want to risk another earthquake in their damaged homes.

Meanwhile, only 15 percent of needed temporary shelters have been built, with few permanent water and sanitation facilities.

Owners of small construction materials businesses, such as Justin Premier, 43, should be raking in money. But most people in his neighborhood are just buying plywood to reinforce their tarps.

"It's going to take a lot of time for us to come back where we were before," Premier said.

The earthquake was an opportunity to completely remake a broken education system where only half of school-age children were enrolled, often in bad private schools with predatory fees.

But plans from the Inter-American Development Bank for safer buildings and a unified Creole-language curriculum have not yet come to fruition. The government education ministry, which also lost its headquarters, remains weak.

Instead, schools have opened here and there. About 80 percent of children attending school before the quake are going to class again, said UNICEF Haiti Education Chief Nathalie-Fiona Hamoudi. UNICEF planned to build 200 semi-permanent structures to teach in, but only finished 88 by the end of 2010 because an ongoing cholera outbreak diverted its effort.

The reconstruction effort overall is hampered by the failure to deliver or spend billions of dollars in promised aid.

Americans donated more than $1.4 billion to private organizations to help earthquake survivors and rebuild, but just 38 percent of that total has been spent to provide recovery and rebuilding aid, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy survey of 60 major relief organizations.

Governments have not done better.

More than $5.6 billion was pledged at a March 31 donors conference for a period of 18 months. Only $1.28 billion has been delivered about a quarter of the public money not including debt relief, according to Clinton's U.N. Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti. Some $3.2 billion in public funding is still owed.

  1. Most popular

The United States had originally pledged $1.15 billion for 2010, but moved nearly its entire pledge to 2011 following delays in Congress and the Obama administration.

Clinton was supposed to rally governments and coordinate international efforts. He has had three prominent, simultaneous roles in Haiti's rebuilding: co-chair of the reconstruction commission with Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive; U.N. special envoy for Haiti; and head of his Clinton Foundation, a major donor. In July he told AP he would follow through with donors to remind them of their promises, and expressed frustration when payment was slow through the summer and fall.

But as the year ended, even the United States — whose secretary of state is his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton — had paid just a fraction of what it promised. Clinton has cited bureacracy and the world's financial troubles last year as problems in securing the pledged funds. On his recent trips to Haiti, he has expressed frustration that more is not getting done.

Bellerive said he is disappointed by the slow delivery of funds. He said the delays may be caused by uncertainty surrounding the question of who will succeed outgoing president Preval.

"Perhaps some donors say, 'Let's wait until we know exactly who will be there for the next five years,'" said Bellerive.

"Everyone is talking about the resilience of the Haitian people, and everyone is taking advantage of that resilience," Bellerive said. "It's going to end. Success for me is to do the basic, the minimum, so we can really build a future. And we have to do it right now."

In an Op-Ed to Haiti's Le Nouvelliste newspaper, the IADB's Pierre asked that on the anniversary itself, foreigners leave Haitians alone.

"I ask only one day per year, from 2011 on, to enable us to mourn our dead ... to try to understand how and why we got where we are," he wrote. "We need to find some peace."

___

Associated Press writers David McFadden, Ben Fox and AP television journalists Julia Galiano-Rios and Chris Gillette contributed to this story

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: A year after quake, Haiti still rebuilding

loading photos...
  1. A Haitian woman prays with a Bible in her hand during ceremonies to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2011.The quake flattened much of the capital Port-au-Prince. (Kena Betancur / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Haitians hold hands during a ceremony at St. Christophe, where thousands of victims of the 2010 earthquake are buried, in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 11. Haiti began two days of remembrance ceremonies in honor of the nearly quarter million people who died in an earthquake. (Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Haiti President Rene Preval holds a wreath of flowers at a mass grave site at Titanyen, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, on Jan. 11. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Haitian workers celebrate after the inauguration of the reconstructed Hyppolite Iron Market in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 11. The historic trading center was originally constructed in the 1890s and has been rebuilt this year after a fire leveled it shortly after the earthquake. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A woman walks past an earthquake-damaged building on Jan. 11 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on the eve of the first anniversary of the earthquake. (Paul Chiasson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Martina Raymond, 5, center, stands in front of her family tent with neighbors Revdania Henry, 4, left, and Henderson Henry, 2, in a makeshift camp at the Petionville golf club on Jan. 11 in Port-au-Prince. According to UNICEF, more than half of the 4 million children in Haiti still do not attend school. In addition to educational difficulties, Haiti's children also suffer from poor access to basic water, health care and sanitation. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. An aerial view of a tent city in a Port-au-Prince on Jan. 10. (Thony Belizaire / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A woman walks at a mass grave site at Tituyan, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 11. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Residents stand near an abandoned airplane in the middle of La Piste camp on January 11 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The camp is located on a former military airport and houses approximately 50,000 Haitians displaced by the earthquake. The one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people will be marked on January 12. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Soccer players from Haiti's Zaryen team (in blue) and the national amputee team fight for the ball during a friendly match at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince on Jan.10. Sprinting on their crutches at breakneck speed, the young soccer players who lost legs in Haiti's earthquake last year project a symbol of hope and resilience in a land where so much is broken. (Kena Betancur / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Presidential candidate Jude Celestin, center, gestures to supporters during a campaign rally in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan 10. An Organization of American States international monitoring team will recommend on Monday to President Rene Preval that Haiti's government-backed candidate Jude Celestin be eliminated from a presidential runoff election in favor of Michel Martelly, a popular musician who finished a close third in the contested official results, according to a copy of a report obtained by the Associated Press. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Students practice a lesson at L'ecole Nationale Filles de Marie (Daughters of Mary National School) near the end of the school day on Jan. 10, 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Catholic school collapsed during the earthquake in 2010, killing 16 nuns, but no students died because they had left for the day. The school has been partially rebuilt and houses 600 students. According to UNICEF, more than half of four million Haitian children still do not attend school. Approximately 5,000 schools were damaged by the earthquake and rebuilding has been crippled by the clearing of rubble and land issues. In addition to educational difficulties, Haiti's children also suffer from inequitable access to basic water, health care and sanitation. Jan. 12 is the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A Haitian evangelical parishioner looks up during a mass to remember earthquake victims at national stadium in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9. Haiti will this week mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed much of capital Port-au-Prince. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Achebelle Debora St. Til, 6, dances at the Festival of Hope, a rally led by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, at a soccer stadium in downtown Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9. (Allison Shelley / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A boy plays in a refuse-clogged canal in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9. When the ground shook Haiti a year ago, toppling homes like cards and killing some 200,000 people, world leaders promised quick action to ease the human tragedy and rebuild the country. A year on, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country is still reeling from the earthquake, and the international community's capacity to deliver and sustain aid effectively is being sorely tested. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Haitians stay in a tent erected in a destroyed house in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Orich Florestal, 24, left, and Rosemond Altidon, 22, stand on the edge of their partially destroyed apartment on Jan. 9. (Allison Shelley / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A woman prays during services in front of the destroyed Port-au-Prince Cathedral on Jan. 9. Haitians gather for services outside the destroyed cathedral every Sunday. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. People walk on a street in downtown Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9. (Jorge Silva / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. People displaced by the massive 2010 earthquake live in temporary shelters put up by Samaritan's Purse, a charity, on Jan. 8 in Cabaret, Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people still live in temporary shelters. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. The Presidential Palace is still in ruins as displaced people live in tents in a park across the street almost one year after the massive earthquake on Jan. 8 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Haitians wash clothes and hang them to dry on rebar remnants of a building destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Parishioners from St. Louis King of France Catholic Church dedicate a cross and a memorial put up in memory of the tens of thousands of people killed in the massive earthquake and buried in the mass grave at Titanyen, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Velune Noel, 24, lies with her cholera-infected 12-month-old son Peterson Sharmont, on a cot at a Samaritan's Purse cholera treatment center in the Cite Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 8. (Allison Shelley / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A Haitian man builds a wooden house Jan. 8 next to houses destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Reconstruction has barely begun in Haiti a year after its catastrophic earthquake, a leading international charity said on Wednesday in a report sharply critical of a recovery commission led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. People play soccer at the site of earthquake-damaged houses in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 7. (Ramon Espinosa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Haitians work on rebuilding an iron market building destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake in downtown Port-au-Prince. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A man removes debris from the January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 6, 2011. (Kena Betancur / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Photos: Haiti:  A year after the quake, waiting to rebuild

Use the slider below the image to view a scene from the immediate aftermath of Haiti's Jan. 12, 2010 quake and the same place one year later. Editor's note: Some images in this experience are graphic.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments