Contact: Sue Brink
Voice: (904) 542-6622
By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
ARTIBONITE, Haiti (NNS) -- A celebration was held June 27 for the newly constructed community clusters constructed in Desdunes, Mandarin, and Ecole Pont Gaudin Haiti.
The new facilities, located within the Artibonite department of Haiti, were built as part of U.S. Southern Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) in Haiti.
"Each cluster consists of a school, clinic, community center, and restroom facilities," said Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NAVFAC Southeast) resident officer in charge of construction (ROICC), Haiti. "The 2,500 square foot community center, complete with a large indoor gathering area and an outdoor kitchen for large events, provides a safe and central area for the community to gather."
Additionally, the 1,800 square foot clinic provides multiple examination rooms, pharmacy, and on site laboratory for testing.
"A key component of the clinic was the construction of a studio apartment to allow for the full time on site stay of a physician or medical resident in these remote locations of Haiti," said Henning.
In her comments during the ceremony at Desdunes, the Haitian Minister of Health Florence Guillaume thanked the U.S. government for the opportunities the newly-constructed clinic and community center will provide to the Haitan government and its people.
Army Maj. Will Hogan, with the U.S. Military Liaison Office, Haiti, stressed that only through close coordination with the government of Haiti were such complicated projects able to come to fruition to bring a better quality of life to the people of Haiti.
During the ceremony, Guillaume, signed the documents officially transferring the community center, health clinic, and restrooms at all three sites from U.S. Southern Command to the government of Haiti. The clinics will be managed and staffed by members of the Ministry of Health, while the schools will be managed and staffed by members of the Ministry of Education.
Participants in the inauguration ceremony were Guillaume, Hogan, Paul Emanual Laurent, Artibonite director of Education; Roberde Honore, Artibonite director of Health and Wesner Archeluse, mayor of Desdunes.
Also in attendance were Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, NAVFAC Southeast ROICC Haiti; Sgt. 1st Class Roland Laforest, the U.S. Southern Command HAP manager; and members of the local community.
The three projects totaling $5.8 million are part of 62 HAP projects NAVFAC Southeast is administering the design and construction of for U.S. Southern Command on behalf of the Government of Haiti and the Haitian people. The $33 million program is being executed, with ROICC Haiti oversight, through 20 contracts at 22 sites and will provide EOCs, DRWs, fire stations, medical clinics, community centers, and schools for the Haitian people.