In early 2009, IOM was awarded .5 million from USAID to extend emergency response activities throughout the country, focusing specifically on the restoration of public services, rebuilding infrastructure, and disaster mitigation. Of this awarded amount, .1 million is specifically for road repair and improved drainage. This is in addition to existing funding for infrastructure rehabilitation in Gonaives.
IOM will construct 22,600 meters (13 miles) of masonry drainage gutters/canals and 11,300 meters (6.5 miles) of improved roadways in the Gonaives area to return a semblance of order and create durable infrastructure, which will improve possibilities for self development. IOM will provide technical support, oversight, materials and will pay the laborers required for the micro-projects. IOM will create over 68,000 employment days for community groups who have been devastated by the recent hurricanes. This infrastructure will be constructed in the communities most affected by the hurricanes.
Gonaives has been devastated by a series of tropical storms and hurricanes for the second time in 4 years. In addition, people in Gonaives and throughout Haiti have already been struggling through a significant increase in the cost of living. The government has made only limited long-term investments into public infrastructure (roads, bridges, canals, schools, etc). The lack of functional public infrastructure is one of the factors that made the devastation in Gonaives so significant.
IOM has been active in Gonaives since 2004, just as the city was dealing with the devastating Hurricane Jeanne. Since that time, IOM, in collaboration with USAID, has invested .5 million in 150 separate projects. This work has focused on public infrastructure construction or rehabilitation, including roads, bridges, canals, public markets, parks and schools. The proposed work in Gonaives will continue on with the positive momentum generated by these previously completed projects and will further deepen the impact, especially in terms of drainage of rain water. Additional project activity in Gonaives will also further IOM's objective of strengthening local community groups and public institutions, which are critical to reducing conflict and ensuring stability.
Since IOM has had an active presence in Gonaives for more than 4 years, there are already positive relationships with community groups and public institutions. IOM will continue to work with these groups to identify the most urgent and relevant public infrastructure projects that will provide the greatest impact to the community. As projects are identified, IOM engineers will study them and provide cost estimates. An open tendering process will be held for each micro-project and the best bid will be selected by a group which will include IOM staff, municipal officials, and community representatives. The selected contractors will execute the projects with close supervision by IOM staff. The contractors are required to submit reports regarding the progress of their work in order to ensure that timelines and budgets are respected. Upon completion of each project, IOM, community and municipal representatives will inspect the project to ensure that it meets the appropriate standards before being handed over to the community. IOM will also ensure that community groups are prepared to actively ensure the long-term cleanliness and maintenance of each project. Evaluations will be completed for each micro-project.
Compounding the on-going challenges of poverty, recent tropical storms and hurricanes have affected Gonaives, a city with a population of nearly 300,000 people. At least 100,000 people will be directly impacted by IOM's commitment. Of this 100,000 people, 60% are children/youth. Females represent approximately 54% of the total beneficiaries (adults and children/youth).
In addition, IOM aims to achieve the following performance goals:
- Number of meters of masonry drainage gutters/canals built: 22,600 meters
- Number of meters of improved roadways: 11,300 meters
- Number of employment/days created: 68,000 person/days
- Number of jobs created: 4,000 jobs