Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction
A Drexel Engineering Cities Initiative team including Drs. Franco Montalto (CAEE), Michael Piasecki (CAEE), Patrick Gurian (CAEE), and Mimi Sheller (CoAS) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID Response Grant entitled “Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions with Local Knowledge: A Case Study Focusing on Water and Sanitation in Leogane”. An overarching hypothesis of the project is that, in the wake of the January 12 earthquake, “sustainable” reconstruction requires a focused effort to incorporate local knowledge into all levels of post-disaster infrastructure decisions, and that rehabilitation priorities based on local knowledge elicited through stakeholder-driven process will differ fundamentally from those developed by technical experts based outside of the service area. To test this hypothesis, the team focuses on water and sanitation issues in Leogane, a town of approximately 80,000 people located about 30 km to the west of the capital and at the quake’s epicenter.
The team will travel to Leogane from May 28th to June 5th, to conduct surveys of water and sanitation infrastructure and citizens’ views on it and will return again in late June to conduct workshops with local stakeholders and civil society. They will present their findings in a report to be distributed to partners and participants in Leogane, and to be presented at an NSF-sponsored workshop on Haitian reconstruction to be held in the fall.