A truck picks up passengers in the new 'Canaan' settlement in Port-au-Prince.
On 12 January 2010, Port-Au-Prince suffered a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that destroyed much of the city, killing 300,000 people and leaving over a million homeless. Apartment buildings, places of business, governmental buildings, all came crashing down. Wrecked buildings still stand in the city centre where government buildings are being rebuilt. With high unemployment rates prior to the disaster, those who had jobs were now left with no work or with their business premises a heap of broken concrete.
Five years after the earthquake, thousands of Haitians who were living in the harsh conditions of tent cities were relocated to pre-fabricated one-room wooden houses on the outskirts of the city, while many thousands more, who heard of free land, seized the opportunity to rebuild their homes by hand, with no water, electricity or public services, in a new settlement called Canaan. 'You fall down but you try to get up,' said Julnet Beaucicot, 36, a father of five and a construction worker, who lives in Camp Corail, a community built withNGO funds. Yet, still some 350,000 residents are living in tent camps.