CHF-Haiti Blog Update - March 23, 2010: Ramping Up Shelter Production in Leogane

CHF-Haiti Blog Update - March 23, 2010: Ramping Up Shelter Production in Leogane

John Walden is a Technical Specialist at CHF International. Below are his observations during the set-up of transitional shelter production in Leogane.


PHOTO: As the materials arrive, CHF teams in Leogane quickly set-up for the production of transitional shelters for displaced families.

A quick up-date then I have to get to work. Some of the tools arrived yesterday and we put them right to work and they are great. We converted one of the sample houses into a tool room/ charging station. We are having the teams set up houses so that we can fine tune the process. We have already made a portable center stand for the roof installation. We will need one per crew when we get rolling with several crews with the core people staying in the facility assembling parts—just like the CHF operation in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. We have the other container of parts coming up here today. With this operation in place, we can do 100 houses per week.

The production facility is all but set up. The crew has set up 7 houses out in front, to be taken down and moved to the location in 5 pieces. We have 5 jigs set up inside the warehouse tent and with everything in place, we can make parts for 30 houses day. That assumes all the drills work and the generator works. Then we take 50 Cash for Work team members with a CHF supervisor and make all the parts there. We then get an open truck and drop the parts off to a second team for assembly on site.

Leogane has 80% destruction so we don't have to go far to get takers for a new house. These are so well-made that they will become a core house for the families. Basic parts costs are about $800 per house.

The Steel Elements team also put a shelter up at the Central Office and a 40' x 10' version (three rooms) to use as offices there. I will be finishing it up later this week and next. It now has a cement floor.

We are working and staying in Belval Plaza with the group from Hands On, a group of volunteers working in the Leogane community. We get the real feeling of living in a tent along with the IDPs. They are out front and all around us. Some camps better than others. We also got the real experience of walking down the road for water when the well where we are camping went dry. If you wanted to clean up (and who wouldn't after working in the heat all day) you got your favorite bucket and go across the road to the spring. Well worth it.

Pretty exciting stuff going on out here. Very good use of donated funds.

CHF staff and volunteers from Hands On unload materials and equipment.

Team members work on roof installation.

Aerial view of the shelter production site.

CHF staff and volunteers live in tents during while assisting with the production.