Taipei, July 17 (CNA) The construction project of Hope Village in Haiti, which will house 1,000 victims who lost their homes during the magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010, was completed on June 30, two months ahead of schedule, officials from the Overseas Engineering & Construction Corp. (OECC) said Tuesday.
The rural resettlement project, which was carried out in July last year, was the realisation of one of four pledges made by President Ma Ying-jeou to help Haiti’s reconstruction, two weeks after the country was hit by the killer earthquake, which claimed 300,000 lives and displaced 1.5 million people.
The permanent shelter built at a cost of $5.5 million was also the first project sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China to provide humanitarian aid to the Caribbean country.
Recalling the past year’s construction work, engineers from the OECC said they had encountered great difficulty transporting large scale equipment to the site because of the poor road conditions.
The site of the project is about a five-hour drive from the capital of Port-au-Prince to the Savanne Diane in Artibonite, where the village was located and the road leading to it is around 150 kilometers long, they said.
The Embassy of the Republic of China in Haiti has provided relief supplies, helped solve the issues of land expropriation and governmental communications in Haiti, which has struggled with the recovery and political turbulence.
The OECC built the 200-household village covering 30 hectares, in which six-metre roads, churches, classrooms, outhouse bathrooms and power generating stations were constructed based on local cultures, it said.
The project, which was designed to withstand earthquakes, was also recognised by the Taiwan Construction Research Institute.
In addition, Victor Hsiah, chair of the OECC, said the village was provided with solar powered lamps made in Taiwan.
By doing so, part of the relief funds were flown back to Taiwanese businesspeople, he said.
The building company has also recruited locals to help with the construction work in order to create job opportunities, Hsiah said.
It was such a relief to be able to complete the project and all the staff from Taiwan has learned from the great international experience, he said.
An agricultural mission will also be stationed in the village to teach people there to grow a variety of maize, sorghum and Congo beans to ensure villagers there have a crop harvest all year round.
The OECC is a construction company formed by renowned Taiwanese syndicates to handle infrastructure projects funded by the ROC government in Haiti and Taiwan’s other diplomatic allies.