Category Archives: Haiti

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I do not share the optimism of the designer for being able to make this house for $300, in reality it will cost more than $500 or even closer to $900 but still it is a very good value for a house of this quality.

There are a few issues that the designer of this house did not think of, the first is that CEB is not water proof, if the house is not elevated, then the first 50cm of the walls needs to be sealed very well, either by using an alternative type of block or by using cement blocks.

But overal, this is an excellent idea, good starter to promote the awareness of possibilities using CEB in low cost housing in developing countries.

The CEB used in this design can be made using our open source CEB press machine:


via Geopolymer CEB House – $300 Challenge – Rebuild Haiti Better.

Final CEB House with Split Bamboo Screening – credits: Owen Geiger

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Clinton Foundation Accused of Sending Haiti Shoddy Trailers Found Toxic After Katrina.

Clinton Foundation Accused of Sending Haiti Shoddy Trailers Found Toxic After Katrina

A new exposé in The Nation magazine reveals that trailers the Clinton Foundation donated to post-earthquake Haiti to use as temporary classrooms—and to double as hurricane shelters—are plagued by mold, shoddy construction. In at least one case, an air quality test revealed worrying levels of formaldehyde. The trailers were built by the same company that is being sued in the United States for providing formaldehyde-laced trailers to displaced residents after Hurricane Katrina. We speak with the journalists who broke this story, Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet. “What does it say about the reconstruction efforts in Haiti, if the very first project approved by the commission that’s supposed to ensure accountability and transparency in Haiti’s rebuilding passes this kind of project?” says Macdonald. “Bill Clinton himself has his hands all over it, and he is the co-chair of this commission that is supposed to ensure that Haiti is ‘built back better.’” [includes rush transcript]


Isabeau Doucet, co-author of the Nation piece “The Shelters that Clinton Built.” She is a freelance journalist working in Port-au Prince, Haiti, where she has written for Haïti Liberté and worked for Al Jazeera.
Isabel Macdonald, co-author of the Nation piece “The Shelters that Clinton Built.” She is a freelance journalist and former communications director of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

AMY GOODMAN: Today marks one-and-a-half years since the devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti, killing more than 316,000 people, leaving at least a million homeless. The country has slowly begun to build, but efforts have been slow in a country that was already one of the poorest in the Western hemisphere before the earthquake hit. Critics have faulted the efforts of international donors, including the U.S., for failing to deliver on pledges while exerting excessive control over the reconstruction process.

Former President Bill Clinton has played a major role in relief efforts, serving as the U.N. special envoy to Haiti and as co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. Through his Clinton Foundation, the former president has helped fund a number of projects in Haiti. Well, a new investigative report from The Nation magazine takes a critical look at the Clinton Foundation’s first recovery commission project in post-earthquake Haiti: the construction of shelters in the city of Léogâne. President Clinton first announced the project in a video on his foundation’s website.

BILL CLINTON: Many of you have expressed your interest in the progress being made in Haiti as the nation continues to recover from the earthquake. I wanted to give you just a quick update of some of our ongoing efforts to help the people build back better. The recent cholera outbreak serves as a stark reminder of the urgency we face to address and strengthen reconstruction efforts in Haiti. After the outbreak, my foundation responded, allocating a million dollars to the government, so that we can move supplies down there in a hurry. In addition to the health outbreaks, the hurricane season remains a threat, especially to those still living in camps. My foundation has contributed a million dollars there to the construction of emergency storm shelters in Léogâne.

AMY GOODMAN: But according to a new exposé in The Nation magazine, the shelters turned out to be a series of trailers beset with problems including mold, shoddy construction—in one case, worrying levels of formaldehyde. The trailers are also built by the same company, Clayton Homes, that’s currently being sued in the U.S. for providing formaldehyde-laced trailers to displaced residents after Hurricane Katrina. A student and teacher at a school housed in the trailers described the conditions there.

MONDIALIE CINEAS: [translated] The class gets so hot. The kids get headaches. And we go to the teacher for him to give us painkillers.

DÉMOSTHÈNE LUBERT: [translated] I believe that the grant foundation of Clinton, given that we’re speaking of a school, Clinton would build latrines for us, so that the children can go to the toilet safely, given that we’re under the iron rule of cholera. It’s not finished. It’s not too late. We’re waiting, waiting for a lot of things from Clinton. And Clinton can do good things for Haiti.

AMY GOODMAN: That video clip is courtesy of The Nation magazine and the Canadian Center for Investigative Reporting.

Well, for more, we’re joined by the journalists who broke the story, Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet. Their piece, “The Shelters that Clinton Built,” is in the July 11th issue of The Nation magazine, online at

Isabeau, talk more about what you found.

ISABEAU DOUCET: Well, Clinton—this was one of the first projects of the commission, and there’s been very little transparency and accountability, despite all these buzzwords—you know, “sustainable development,” “community consultation”—around this commission. It’s kind of widely seen as very opaque and labyrinthian. So we thought we’d just pick one project and really investigate it. And since this was one of the first, and it was one of the few that’s actually completed, we thought, you know, perfect.

And what we found was, I mean, not only are these hurricane-proof shelters trailers, which cannot be hurricane-proof, according to U.S. standards, but they were riddled with any number of problems. They’re extremely hot. They’re leaking. There’s mold. You know, they’re visibly already starting to rot, even though they’re freshly installed. So we thought, given that Clinton himself was the one who coined this term, “build back better”—we’re going to “build back better” Haiti—what does this mean for what’s to come of the commission’s projects?

AMY GOODMAN: Isabel Macdonald, Clayton Homes, can you explain where these trailers came from and the problems they’ve had after Hurricane Katrina?

ISABEL MACDONALD: Well, we’ve been requesting documentation of any bidding process from the Clinton Foundation, and we have not gotten documentation. We know that they were built by Clayton Homes, which is currently being sued in the United States for exposing Hurricane Katrina survivors to injurious levels of formaldehyde, which the plaintiffs in this FEMA formaldehyde lawsuit claim came as a direct result of them residing in trailers that Clayton Homes had sold to FEMA. The Clinton Foundation has not answered our questions about any due diligence that was done. We know that trailers are considered a liability in the United States in the case of a hurricane. FEMA tells Americans to evacuate trailers. And so, the real question is, how did Bill Clinton think that this would be acceptable in Haiti to provide these trailers as hurricane shelters, to buy them from a company facing this kind of lawsuit over formaldehyde? And what does it say about the reconstruction efforts in Haiti, if the very first project approved by the commission that’s supposed to ensure accountability and transparency in Haiti’s rebuilding passes this kind of project? And Bill Clinton himself has his hands all over it, and he is the co-chair of this commission that is supposed to ensure that Haiti is “built back better.”

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, but we’ll link to The Nation and your investigation. Isabel Macdonald, Isabeau Doucet, thank you very much. The piece is called “The [Shelters] that Clinton Built.”

YOU MUST READ this. f this does not makes you infuriated then I don’t know what will. I HATE these so called NGOs, their only interest is to take advantage of the misery of t he people to make money for their own SIC political programs.

As if the millions they are making NOW is not enough, the have to take the money from the sick and hungry people of Haiti in order to achieve their goals.

For more pictures click on the image

How Monsanto And Evangelical Christian Organizations Hijacked The Taxpayer Money Intended For Haiti // Current

The story that best describes Haiti’s last year is not from a slum, nor from a cholera clinic. It’s not to be found in the rubble—but in a courtroom in Texas.

In November, 2010, Lewis Lucke, a former U.S. ambassador to Swaziland and former USAID official in Haiti, filed suit against Haiti Recovery Group Ltd. for some $500,000 in unpaid fees for the tens of millions of dollars in contracts Lucke secured for the group in the days after the earthquake. After leaving his USAID position, Lucke immediately signed a $30,000 a month “consulting” contract with the Haiti Recovery Group, a conglomerate formed by several American contractors with the specific goal of securing U.S. funding. Lucke used the contacts developed while at USAID to score the conglomerate over $20 million in contracts. Then it canned him. Sucker.

Lucke’s take is typical of a Haiti that’s become a massively swelled teat on which NGOs profitably suckle. Overall, Haiti has become one of the greatest money laundering operations in history, an island engine turning public funds into private profits.

What’s more, U.S. taxpayer dollars are, against Presidential directive, being funneled from the United States Agency for International Development to Billy Graham’s charities for use in Christian proselytizing—all while building Sarah Palin’s 2012 campaign army.

“At that time, they were not open to the Gospel, and now they are,” said “Festival of Hope” director Sherman Barnette, of the difference in Haiti before and after the earthquake. The festival was held on January 9, in Haiti’s National Soccer Stadium. It was put on by Franklin Graham in cooperation with his Samaritan’s Purse charity and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Franklin—William Franklin Graham III—has been head of the Association for ten years. He is the successor to his father, who is now 92, and who has appeared infrequently in public these last few years.

A month before the event, Sarah Palin had appeared in Haiti beside Graham, urging followers to help “those less fortunate” by contributing to Samaritan’s Purse. “It is still here doing the tough work,” Palin said. She was gone less than 48 hours later.

Exactly what the tough work Palin spoke of depends on who you’re talking about. It could be raising millions more dollars that Haitians will never see. Or, in the case of Samaritan’s Purse, whose Haiti work is being heavily funded by the taxpayer-funded USAID, it could be to “take back their country from voodoo, despair, and sin,” one of the charity’s stated goals for the “Festival of Hope.” As Graham said of Haiti in his address at the Festival, “…the biggest need is the spiritual need.” (Graham and his crew are especially obsessed with the elimination of voodoo, as it comes up again and again in Purse literature. A recent personal update on work in Haiti from Franklin Graham himself reads, “Through our partnership, the three original churches have been able to establish 28 more—including one in a village that was infamous for voodoo….”) Video of the heavily promoted fundraising event has been erased from the Samaritan’s Purse website as a result of our questions to USAID.

Somewhere around 10,000 NGOs now operate in Haiti, without any organization. Much of the money that was raised in the nation’s name has not been spent. In some cases, it seems this is intentional.

The Disaster Accountability Project estimates that a year after nearly $11 billion was raised or pledged (“Text HAITI! to donate $10!), only half has been spent. In some cases, not even that. By November, Catholic Relief Charities had reported spending just 32 percent of the $192 million it raised for Haiti.

Many NGOs say the reason they are reluctant to spend more is that it may be wasted. But as DAP’s Ben Smilowitz discovered in his investigation with the Red Cross, the organization is treating the interest generated on the $500+ million “trust fund” it raised (and has not yet spent) for Haiti relief as “unrestricted revenue.”

A report on U.S. contracts for reconstruction found that only $1.60 of every $100 awarded goes to Haitian firms, essentially meaning that the brunt of Haiti funding actually functions as stimulus for economies elsewhere. An audit by USAID’s Inspector General found that 70% of the cash awarded to the two largest U.S. contractors was spent on equipment and materials (bought outside of Haiti), meaning just 8,000 Haitians a day were hired instead of the promised 25,000 a day.

Meanwhile, American corporations see the push to rejuvenate rural Haitian agriculture as a chance to, literally, sow the seeds of future profits. No matter that Haiti is broke, and will be broke for a long time. Monsanto has rigged it so that you, the taxpayer, will be underwriting those profits.

Monsanto donated tons of corn and vegetable seed to Haitian farmers and has committed to donating hundreds of tons more in the coming months. But these seeds are hybrids, engineered not only so that they cannot naturally reproduce, but to assure Haitian farmers remain in hock to Monsanto in the future. Of this donation, Monsanto had the unbelievable balls to claim “There are no contractual obligations between Haitian farmers and Monsanto since this is a donation.” Responding to whether or not the donated seeds will force farmers to need “additional inputs” (i.e., trademarked Monsanto products), the company said “technically, it can be planted without any additional inputs.”

Pressed about why Monsanto didn’t just provide open pollinating seed, a spokesperson said, “Open pollinated seeds would be a great option if they produced as much crop as a hybrid seed.” That’s like saying, nobody should bother driving a Honda Civic because it doesn’t perform like a Maserati.

But here’s the best part. Monsanto added that it contacted NGOs in Haiti and that those organizations will “support farmers with recommendations and resources [including] helping farmers decide whether to use additional inputs (including fertilizer and herbicides).” Two of the NGOs Monsanto identified are the WINNER organization and World Vision, both heavily funded by USAID. This means your tax dollars will be used to purchase any “additional inputs” from Monsanto.

To understand where the Haitians are headed, just look to Malawi, which Monsanto itself points to as a goal for Haiti. In 2005, droughts devastated Malwai. Monsanto donated hybrid seeds. Today Malwai has achieved food security. But It turns out, what Malwai did was recreate the American model by subsidizing farmers to use Monsanto hybrid fertilized seeds. Malawi’s farmers have now converted to a one-crop, undiversified, exporting agriculture model that is dependent on its government to subsidize production—by buying from Monsanto. Today Monsanto’s market share in Malawi is 50%. No wonder it holds up Malwai when speaking of Haiti.

(Of course, Haiti needs to be a corn-producing nation now, since its former rice economy was obliterated by Bill Clinton, whose subsidies for U.S. rice farmers destroyed Haiti’s rice industry. As an Oxfam report notes, the total of U.S. aid to Haiti is nearly $80 million less than the $434 million annual subsidies for U.S. rice production. That’s rice that taxpayer-funded NGOs now buy to help feed starving Haitians, in what is maybe the darkest joke of all time following Clinton’s appointment as co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.)

From: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
The Field: A Monthly Newsletter from MSF                  November 2010
Throughout the month, MSF expanded and deepened it response to the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, while also calling on other actors in the country to do the same in order to meet the needs of growing numbers of people falling ill. Read More >
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