‘Three years to clear Haiti rubble’

IT will take three years to clear the rubble left by Haiti’s devastating earthquake, said President Rene Preval, who admitted even he’s still afraid to sleep under concrete in case another quake strikes.

Preval said Haiti faces a long reconstruction process that will result in fewer people living in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

“It will take 1,000 trucks moving rubble for 1,000 days, so that’s three years. And until we move out rubble, we cannot really build,” Preval said.

Sitting in the airport police station that serves as the country’s temporary government headquarters, Preval calmly laid out the difficulties of rebuilding an impoverished country amid the threat of more quakes.

He said the government has destroyed some hastily rebuilt structures, but until alternative housing plans can be completed, its ability to regulate reconstruction will be limited.

Asked about residents’ assertions that local corruption has interfered with the aid effort, he replied: “It is possible that there have been irregularities.

“However, "I should point out that the government isn’t the direct manager of most of this humanitarian assistance.”

The president, whose five-year term is scheduled to end next year, has rarely spoken publicly with his own people in the weeks since a magnitude-7 earthquake destroyed Haiti’s capital city on January 12, killing more than 200,000 people.


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