[Around the World] The Haiti Experience

by Aziz Ahmed

An earthquake of 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale had hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, as you may already know. Its epicenter was just a few miles from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. 207,000 deaths have been confirmed by the government, still many people are buried under the rubble of houses, schools, markets. Tall buildings in Port-au-Prince (capital city of Haiti), including the National Palace, built by the US Marines in 1915, and the United Nations headquarters, were destroyed by the earthquake. The extent of the damage remains unknown, as communication between Haiti and the rest of the world has been difficult since the earthquake hit.

Haiti is a country of ten million people. Three million of the total population were directly affected by the earthquake. The capital, Port-au-Prince, is home to around three million people, many of whom are recent migrants to the capital and living in substandard housing.

Currently, I m based in Jacmel, 45 KM from Port-au-Prince, working with a German based NGO. According to the government around sixty percent of Jacmel was destroyed by the earthquake, resulting in death of about 4000 people are dead in this small town. As most people speak French so it’s very challenging for me to even communicate with the affected community and even with my staff, now I m trying to learn French.

Aziz is affiliated with NRSP – AJK. Currently he is working in Haiti on a short term assignment. He belongs to Gulmit, Gojal.

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  1. Dear Aziz,

    Bon Soir, Hope you are doing well. Good to hear from you that sooner.

    Your contributions to AJK Earthquake were commendable. We all are proud of you. Keep your good work up in Haiti as well so that people of Haiti remember your contributions as a resident of Gojal-Hunza, Pakistan.

    Despite our UN colleagues in Haiti are also at work with full swing though they are equally and worstly affected – many of them have lost their lives, property, dear ones etc. Our salutes to them as well.

    It’s a bit early for me to resign from UN and go and work for our people suffering this unfortunate disaster in Hunza, though we get burning due to several limitations. I was happy that you touched Hunza as well before your departure.

    AJK and GB would need you back soon.!!

    Dear Aziz, see, how beautifully, does Pamir Times link the world. Our hats off to Pamir Times team.

    With kind regards,

    Mehmood Hunzai
    (United Nations)

  2. Dear Aziz,

    It is a matter of immense pleasure for us to know that you reached Haiti safely and currently busy with your short term assignment. Stay safe and be happy in your new work station. Wishing you all the best.


    Shujaat Ali

  3. Dear Aziz
    Being a family member its a moment of happyness and feel pleasure for us to get the news that you have joined the earthquake rehabilitation team in Hatti you have good experience and good capacity to work in any environment weather its disaster or any other job being an hunzai you have proved that we can go any work any where in the world god bless and give you more strength continue your work with zeal and zest and return to your home safely….

    Didar Karim Bari
    Professional Development Facilitator
    Admin Incharge MIED Chakwal

  4. immense pleased to hear that Aziz is in Haiti, working on humanitarian ground but surprised that French is pre-requisite and you are doing well… how you manage to communicate bcoz when you can’t communicate you are unable to deliver….best luck.


  5. Dear Husham

    Hope you are fine there; it is a honor for our organization and specially for the people of hunza gojal that you have given an assignment from the French organization, and you are serving there as head of relief activities .keep it up sky is the limit.

    Meherban Karim
    NRSP Bagh AJK

  6. mirbon, aziz is working as data enumerator with a german based ngo….not french, please correct your information….


  7. Dear All,
    Thanks for the encouragement, obviously it’s a big big challenge to work in an area which is totally unknown to you and especially if you can’t speak and understand the language………….

    Well, I have a translator who helps me in coordination meetings with other organizations and even with my staff.
    Jacmel, Haiti

  8. Bravo zaqyor, best of luck… gonna build more experience and your capacity……. learn in such a stage where you have just started you career few years ago on relief and distribution of livestock in AJK…… keep hard working …soon you will be among development professionals

    Best Luck


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