Les Cayes, Haiti – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Haitian President His Excellency Michel Martelly, and the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti The Honorable Pamela White toured the newly constructed emergency operations center (EOC), disaster readiness warehouse (DRW), school, clinic, and community center in Les Cayes, Haiti Aug. 6.
The five facilities, located in the Sud Department of Haiti, were constructed by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast through design-build contracts as part of the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) in Haiti.
“No one should have to go through what Haitians went through three years ago,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. “Our humanitarian assistance programs there are showing real signs of progress, but there is still much work to be done and our Naval Command there has and will continue to be critical to the country’s overall recovery efforts.”
The clinic, school, and community center, referred to as community clusters, were turned over to the Haitian Government in December 2012. A ribbon cutting to celebrate their inauguration was conducted Jan. 10. Clinic personnel treated more than 100 patients the first month it was open.
“Each community cluster consists of an eight-classroom school, a community center building, a medical clinic, and water well,” said Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) Haiti with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast. “These facilities provide an immediate positive impact to the local population.”
The 4,000 square foot EOC provides a central hub in the Sud Department for the local government to coordinate disaster response. The 4,800 square foot DRW provides storage for supplies needed to immediately respond to a major disaster. The warehouse is also used to de-centralize supply redistribution outside of the Haitian capital to alleviate major supply chain issues discovered following the 2010 earthquake.
These projects are part of 62 similar building efforts throughout Haiti that were awarded by NAVFAC in Jacksonville, Fla.