The Second and Third Construction Phase
March – April and August – October 2016
The shell construction of the assembly hall was successfully completed in December 2015 and the roof was installed thereafter. Now the only remaining work for the completion of the assembly hall is on the roof as well as on the extensions, which were carried out during the second construction phase. For this purpose, members of our project group flew to Haiti again in the spring of 2016 and together we pushed our project forward. They were also able to build temporary sanitary facilities.
In August 2016, the green light for the third construction phase was given, with the main goal building classrooms for the preschool children. Furthermore, the construction of a water system and the installation of the solar system was planned. Due to the construction of the national road, the situation at the current location of the orphanage is not ideal and dangerous for the young children. Here we prioritised the construction of the pre-school classrooms, in order to secure their safety. For this we planned four classrooms, which are arranged around a small schoolyard. The courtyard offers an ideal opportunity for the children to play together safely in the open. The uneven terrain presented a special challenge in the implementation. To realise the four buildings on the same level, a large terrain jump had to be overcome. The pre-school classrooms are each 30 m² in size. Like the assembly hall the pre-school is earthquake resistant according to the Haitian norm. Following this guildline, we designed three different construction types. We wanted to see which advantages and disadvantages would arise in practice and how costly and time consuming they are in comparison. Since a few buildings will be constructed in the future, it is possible and longed for to find the best construction technique early on. Of course, this can be discussed and calculated in Germany, but on site, everything looks just a little bit different. The first construction consists of masonry walls and reinforced concrete columns, the second of a reinforced concrete skeleton with timber infill, the third is a timber construction. The foundations are identical and the roofs are all made with the same saddle roof construction with trapezoidal sheet. Furthermore, a photovoltaic system is installed on the roof of the assembly hall, which supplies the site with electricity. 5 kWp is available for the lighting of the rooms, as well as for the usage of medical devices and the water pump. At night a battery supplies the necessary electricity. The implementation of the planned construction progressed well and our container beholding the photovoltaic system finally reached Beaumont after long difficulties with customs. But then, on October 4th, hurricane Matthew hit our project site in Beaumont. Eleven of our team members experienced first-hand on site how the entire landscape was devastated and most of the village was destroyed. In the small town Beaumont, over 100 died, many were injured and thousands homeless. The hygienic conditions after the hurricane were catastrophic and due to the destroyed fields, it was no longer possible for the people to provide their own food. Furthermore, the buildings of the orphanage and the school on the old site were badly damaged. Fortunately our new buildings withstood the storm and were able to provide a provisional emergency shelter for the people of Beaumont. The following week, we repaired several roofs at the old orphanage and finished one of the pre-school classrooms on the new site. Another was erected as a provisional shelter. The situation in Haiti, however worsened: food and water shortages, the spread of diseases and our lack of training / equipment for this disaster forced us to stop our on site construction operations.Further construction done on the pre-school classrooms will be completed during the next construction phase as soon as the circumstances in Beaumont allow it The gradual transition from the old to the new orphanage is no longer possible in its planned form, due to the destruction of Hurricane Matthew. That is why we are now accelerating our plans for further buildings on the new site, in order to restore a safe living and learning environment as quickly as possible. Specifically, this means the construction of living accommodations for the orphans and the canteen.