A large crowd gathers on Durand Road to celebrate the grand opening of the Delmas 32 market. Inside, the smell of paint was still fresh as more than 277 merchants set up stalls in the space they had eagerly anticipated for months.
“After suffering, comes deliverance,” says Nadilia Charles. Before the market, it was very difficult for the mother of four to sell her products in the streets of Delmas. She had to dodge cars in the street and the heat was intense. “I am sick and cannot be exposed to the sun for too long,” she says. “I am happy with my new situation.”
The construction of the market is part of the urban planning framework implemented in the area by PADF and the Municipality of Delmas thanks to the Urban Project for Participatory Development (PRODEPUR). Financed by the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank in partnership with Haiti’s Bureau of Monetization of Development Aid Programs (BMPAD), PRODEPUR has worked to improve the daily lives of residents since 2009. Projects have include the installation of potable water kiosks, the launch of a manufacturing plant, the establishment of a community bakery, repairing local schools, and more.
Toward the edge of the market, Bertilia Prud’homme arranges her fresh vegetables. Carrots and spinach are laid out with the tubers on the table. At 66, she is happy not to have to sell her vegetables in the streets anymore, where she was at the mercy of nature.
She was skeptical when the people from the Centre D’Appui à la Reconstruction (CAR) explained they would construct a market where she would be comfortable. “Most of us have had to move five different times before settling in this market,” she says. “We didn’t believe it at first. I feel good because now I don’t walk by foot in the mud alongside the pigs.”
Noel Amadou the butcher sits on a stool, looking serious. Machete in hand, he cuts meat for two customers just in time for dinner. He has seen a lot over the years. He recalls the car accidents that pushed the mayor to move merchants from one place to another. They have now found a permanent home in the market. “I feel good here,” he says.
The merchants wait for clients and the market produces a strange cacophony. Some invent songs and tap on tables to sell their lalo, or collard greens. Others go in search of customers. In this new market, they can now focus on the business.
(Photos and story by Nathalie Y. Cardichon for PADF)