Brazilian anthropologist Pedro Braum, 38, had just arrived in Haiti to do research when the country was rocked by the massive earthquake that killed 200,000 people in 2010. He ended up extending his stay by two months to five months, to join reconstruction efforts.
Braum, who has lived in Haiti since 2008 between comings and goings and definitely from 2014 to January, acknowledges that there have been advances in the management of natural disasters in the country since 2010, such as efforts to improve construction. civil, with investments in vocational training.
He criticizes, however, the lack of quality inspection of building materials and the lack of protocols on how to act in these situations.
“For a country that experienced the 2010 earthquake, anything involving situations of risk and disaster should ideally have been attacked and revised,” he says.
In addition to the experience of living the tragedy up close – with bodies in the streets, people sleeping outside for fear of further tremors, the destruction of residential and government buildings – Braum was impressed by the mobilization of Haitians to that time.
“People created neighborhood committees, from the poorest regions to the middle class, which helped a lot at the time. There was a union of people, a gigantic mobilization effort that made things less serious, “he continues.
And this is what he hopes to repeat now that the country has returned to record a strong earthquake, of magnitude 7.2, this Saturday (14).
“People always talk about Haiti’s problems, the failure of the state and its government. But in 2010, the ability of people to articulate people impressed me a lot. And I imagine it’s happening again now, ”he says.
The anthropologist recalls that the earthquake will be an additional challenge for Haiti, which is going through a turbulent period politically and economically.
“In 2010, for better or for worse, there was help from international organizations. It no longer exists. We must mobilize resources, bring help to people and think about a time of reconstruction. We still don’t know the extent of what happened. “