safeguarding cultural heritage, social and architectural wooden houses in Cuba

Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Culturel, Social et Architectural des Maisons en Bois de Cuba

Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Culturel, Social et Architectural des Maisons en Bois de Cuba

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Report of the activity of the CAMAHA Mission in Haiti

PANIS Bruno, Mission Chief of “Camaha of Cuba for Haiti” arrived in Port-au-Prince March 19, 2010, hosted by the NGO ACTED with whom we had contact.

- First Impressions of Port-au-Prince:

- The traffic is very heavy and it’s gotten more difficult because of the rubble all over the highways and the people who have set up their shops or huts on the pavement.  It’s tough to come and go to meetings or to leave the city for the outskirts (because of the traffic jams).  There are refugee camps just about everywhere; latrines and water stations have been set up but there still isn’t enough of either.

- Curfew starts at 8:00 p.m. and it’s forbidden to walk on the streets during the day (NGO security measures) because there is a risk of kidnapping and ransom demands.

- It’s impossible to drive around unless you have a driver who is familiar with all the city’s labyrinths.

- Car rentals cost around $3,500 per month, plus the cost of the driver.

- Rentals of houses or apartments: it’s difficult to find safe housing.  Rentals have gotten more expensive because of en masse arrivals of UN and other NGO officials, and the local inhabitants have even preferred to leave their homes even though these haven’t apparently suffered damage while a specialist comes in to certify whether the building is inhabitable or not.

- The earth continues to shake quite frequently (aftershocks).

- Contacts in situ: NGO, UNH, temporary cluster shelters, Minustah:

- After having participated in some meetings organized on the basis of MINUSTAH logistics, beside Port-au-Prince Airport, we should point out that, up to the present time, there exists no coordination to reconstruct.

- On the agenda is the construction of temporary shelters; these have no specific model and so every NGO throwing itself into its construction is obliged to propose their own model with the guarantee of being hurricane and earthquake proof by a planning company.  This is ACTED’s method of choice; we have a collaboration contract with them to implement a production line of temporary shelters, in situ manufacturing processes and technical controls.

- After a meeting with the MTPTC, Ministry of Construction and Public Works

- First Conclusion: The MTPTC and the UNOPS are not organizing reconstruction; they are forming groups of construction experts in charge of assessing, all over Port-au-Prince, the number of houses destroyed, repairable, to be demolished, public and private buildings, schools, etc.  Every team has a GPS for its placement, and every façade of the houses visited has a sign bearing the initials MTPTC.

- Bear in mind at this time that it is, and will continue to be considered urgent for some time to clear the highways, streets avenues and sites of collapsed houses of rubble.

- The mission with ACTED:

In collaboration with Aurélie Ferry, head of the ACTED temporary shelters construction effort in Léogane:

This collaboration agreement is signed to conclude the specifications and technical designs for the ACTED temporary shelters as well as to do the following through collaborative efforts :

- To work closely with the head of the ACTED Temporary Shelters Project to improve their initial design:

To draw up technical recommendations about the designs already carried out by ACTED.

To participate in pulling together these designs and to write an explanatory document about the general characteristics of the shelters proposed within the framework of the ACTED shelters

We must point out that a planning firm will be in charge for drawing up the regulatory technical documents as well as the tests, simulations and the technical document for these designs.

- To create workshops to cut and set up the shelters, module by module, at the sites indicated by ACTED in Léogane, Gressier and Port-au-Prince:

Construction and outfiting the places to be transformed into workshops; instructions, materials and tools and machinery will be contributed by ACTED.

Placing the work plans and assembly tables; materials and tools and machinery will be contributed by ACTED.

Organizing the space for the workshops in order to attain the programme objectives.

Drawing up the plans for cutting and manufacturing the temporary shelters.

- Ensuring the construction of patterns according to the ACTED designs:

Supervision of the pattern construction.

Training the ACTED brigades and the artisans associated with the manufacture and setting up of the patterns.

Formulation of the technical recommendations after the manufacture and setting up of the patterns.

- Ensuring the pre-fabrication of the modules for the ACTED temporary shelters and the schedule agreed upon with ACTED.

Training the ACTED brigades and the artisans and Cash for Work workers so that high quality workmanship results.

Professional training during the pre-fabrication of the modules and quality control of each one of the shelters.

Follow-up on the objectives and schedule of activities delivered by ACTED on the basis of 40 modules finished per day.

Marking the modules to facilitate assembly at the shelters’ construction site.

- Ensure supervision of logistics associated with the cutting and pre-fabrication workshops.

Organization of the loading and unloading areas and storage of materials and modules being used.

Training an assistant to supervise activities of handling, availability of materials and tools and ensuring the procedures are followed and documents for storage and transportation are monitored as per ACTED guidelines.

Supervision of unloading and storage of gross materials (handling brigade)

Outfitting packaging to facilitate unloading and distribution of shelters

Safety on the production lines and in transportation

Compliance with objectives of transportation and organization of trucks

- Ensure technical training in the field:

Constituting the set-up plans

Training ACTED personnel in construction in the field

Implementing simple assembly techniques (level and union marks)

Regular quality control on the job

Brief technical recommendations to improve the quality of the shelters

This list is not inclusive; it does describe the general framework of the agreement.  All the technical activities necessary for the proper development of the project can be added to this list after coordination with the CAMAHA of Cuba staff designated for the project and the heaqof the ACTED project.

- In the Field:

- At the present time, in the field at Léogane, the most severely affected area, approximately 80 % of the homes were destroyed and in some places nothing remains standing.

- Plans are being finalized for the measuring of the bungalows.

- Plans for a 275 m2 workshop that will house the pre-fab assembly line, awaiting the materials and the equipment to be used in the work.

- Beginning construction on a wall (concrete and stone) that will ensure the safety of the workshop and warehouse, using rocks to level the ground, constructing a water point, evacuation of the sewage waste waters.

- Contracting the personnel who will take part in the construction of the shelters.