Inside one home, a toddler snoozes on the floor. Around the corner at another home, a dozen men laugh and cheer at a soccer match on TV.
The newly constructed homes – in colorful hues of yellow, blue, pink and green – are transitional shelters (t-shelters) for families affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.
The shelters in Carrefour, a densely populated municipality just west of Port-au-Prince, were provided by ADRA, one of USAID’s partners who receive funding through the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Even before the earthquake destroyed much of Carrefour, many families in the area lived in shelters averaging 28 square feet. ADRA’s 46-square-feet shelters can house up to five family members.
To determine beneficiaries, ADRA works with the community to identify the most vulnerable people, including women-headed households, the elderly and handicapped.
“I am really impressed with the way ADRA has worked with community leaders to provide space for t-shelters and accommodate the newest members of the community,” said Lynn Marie Thomas, Senior Humanitarian Advisor for OFDA Haiti.
At the ADRA warehouse in Carrefour, laborers cut and paint wood and prepare materials such as metal hurricane strips to stabilize roof beams. ADRA helps beneficiaries prepare the site, then sends mobile teams to construct the shelters – about 1,800 of them over the past five months.
As of Sept. 13, international relief agencies, including USAID/OFDA grantees, had constructed more than 13,000 t-shelters. The humanitarian community has funds for construction of more than 11700,000 additional t-shelters.
Photos of ADRA’s t-shelter production site and t-shelters are on Flickr.