The Role of the Planning Commission in Preparing for and Responding to Earthquakes
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a number of public meetings were convened in an attempt to improve the country’s preparedness for and response to future earthquakes. This report provides a review of one such meeting, held in Port-au-Prince in 2012, which focused on the issue of rural settlements.
2. The meeting
The meeting was convened by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, and was attended by top officials from the Haitian government, including members of the planning commission. The objective of the meeting was to formulate strategies to help the people of Haiti anticipate, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of earthquakes.
2. 2 Participants
In addition to representatives from the IDB and World Bank, the meeting was also attended by a number of Haitian government officials, including members of the planning commission. Also in attendance were representatives from international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as representatives from various NGOs working in Haiti.
3. Main discussion points
3.1 The role of the planning commission
One of the main issues discussed at the meeting was the role of the planning commission in preparing for and responding to earthquakes. It was noted that the commission is responsible for developing land-use plans and zoning regulations, as well as for issuing building permits. However, it was also noted that the commission does not have sufficient staff or resources to effectively carry out its mandate. As a result, it was recommended that the government provide additional resources to the commission so that it can more effectively carry out its mandate.
3. 2 Building materials
Another issue discussed at the meeting was the need for improved building materials in Haiti. It was noted that most buildings in Haiti are made of concrete, which is susceptible to damage in an earthquake. As a result, it was recommended that alternative building materials, such as timber, be used in construction. It was also recommended that existing buildings be retrofitted with earthquake-resistant materials.
3. 3 Resettlement
A third issue discussed at the meeting was resettlement. It was noted that many people who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake are still living in makeshift camps. It was recommended that these people be resettled in safer areas, away from known fault lines. It was also recommended that building codes be enforced so that new construction is more resistant to earthquakes.
4 Conclusion In conclusion, this meeting served as an important forum for stakeholders to discuss strategies for improving Haiti’s preparedness for and response to future earthquakes