Port-au-Prince, Haiti (January 8, 2014) – For the first time in more than 15 years, some 200 merchants from the Simmonds-Pelé neighborhood will have a clean and safe place to do business following the recent opening of a new market place in Village Solidarité. This infrastructure project, carried out by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), received the support of the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Haitian Government.
The new market, built in four months on a 200 m2 (2,151 sq. ft.) surface following para-seismic guidelines, has several selling areas, including seven platforms with 20 tables to display merchandise. It is also equipped with a clinic, a closed storage area, green spaces, toilets and showers, as well as a covered butchery area to ensure improved sanitary conditions for meat processors. A cleaning crew is assigned to clean the market each day after business hours.
The market was also built to have other uses, said Erick Déryce, Program Director and Senior Technical Advisor for PADF Haiti, a key member of the project’s planning and implementation team. “In the evenings, the marketplace could become a socio-cultural center where youth from the neighborhood can study, listen to music, talk and play games. We’re excited about the versatility of this space.”
“For years we were conducting business on mud, dirt and garbage, but finally PADF and the Haitian government came along and they delivered what they promised,” said Jeanne Lironne Mondésir, a local merchant, remembering the earlier days of the market, which has been around since 1997. “For me, this is a dream come true. It took 18 trucks to clean out all the garbage that was here. Now, when I go to work I no longer have to worry about being sick. I think now that everything is clean and nice, more people will come to the market and I’ll be able to sell more.”
The project received more than 4,088,000 Haitian Gourdes (HTG) (approximately USD$93,000) in funding from the World Bank and the Caribbean Bank of Development, and was carried out with support from the Haitian government’s Bureau of Monetization (BMPAD) as part of PADF’s Urban Project for Participatory Development (PRODEPUR).
During the inaugural ceremony, held on December 30, 2014 at Village Solidarité and attended by more than 150 people, the Mayor of the Municipality of Delmas where the market is located, Wilson Jeudy, expressed his appreciation for this initiative and thanked all those involved in completing this project. He added that the market is a good example of community development and representative of the image that he would like to give of the municipality.
A representative from the BMPAD, Henriot Nader, indicated that PRODEPUR is the only program in Haiti that prioritizes the needs of the community by giving the latter a say in which projects are implemented.
“One the key aspects of PRODEPUR is the participatory role that communities play in deciding what development projects are carried out. This is why this new market is such an important addition to the community, because residents decided that it was a key part of the long-term prosperity,” said Kerline Rock, Director of PADF’s PRODEPUR Project.
“I want to thank the merchants for their patience and drive, as well as the local community development councils and the community groups for their support. This market became possible because the community decided that it was an important priority for them. With the financial backing of our partners, PADF was then able to execute the vision that the community had and create something that will improve the lives of so many people,” added Nadia Cherrouk, Country Director for PADF in Haiti.
“PADF plans to continue to work with the communities and the local institutions to bring development and support the most vulnerable communities,” added Cherrouk.
PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2013, it helped more than 10.2 million people in 22 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname, Honduras, and Belize, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org