On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. An estimated 3 million people were impacted, and original estimates were that 50 to 80% percent of all residential and commercial buildings in the capital and surrounding areas were destroyed or severely damaged, 217,000 to 300,000 people killed, 300,000 injured, and 1.5 million people homeless.
Despite a massive international response with an emphasis on housing and shelter, OCHA and OIM estimated that as of January 12th 2011, one year after the earthquake, 810,000 people– 30% of the metropolitan population–still remained displaced and living in Camps (findings in this report as well as findings of the MTPTC color coded building program suggest this as well as most of the other estimates cited are improbable figures).
To assist and encourage people to return to their homes, USAID funded Rubble Removal Programs including demolition of condemned buildings and the removal of rubble from streets and drainage canals. Between February 2010 and February of this year USAID also supported the Ministry of Public Works Transport and Communications (MTPTC) habitability assessments program in which buildings were structurally evaluated and color-coded green (for safe to return), yellow (unsafe to inhabit but reparable), and red (for unsafe to enter/damaged beyond repair). The precise impact of rubble removal and the assessments on IDP returns was, prior to the current study, unknown.
To determine the contribution the programs made, USAID contracted LTL Strategies to conduct the Building Assessments and Rubble Removal surveys (here on referred to as BARR). The principal objective was to calculate, to a relatively high degree of accuracy and with a reasonably high degree of statistical probability, the impact on rate of re-occupancy of MTPTC assessments and rubble removal on IDP returns.