Canaan, Jerusalem, Camp Corail-Casselesse and ONAville

A rose by another other name would smell just as...


This is not always so. The city of many names, born out of the efforts to house homeless victims, and launched in the presence of former President Preval and Hollywood celebrity Sean Penn, among others, the once shiny, new city built for the victims of the 2010 earthquake, fondly labeled Canaan, Jerusalem and by many other lofty names, can now be called by another name entirely, that of a shanty-town.

Corail-Cesselesse sits on about 11 kilometers square of land belonging to owners who are now considering making suit against the government to the tune of about $64 million USD. Adding to the colossal scope of the failure which is this new Canaan, is the deplorable state to which the homes and impromptu squatters' shanties that have popped up in the thousands have sunk. Between sixty-five and a hundred thousand people live in the flimsy, ramshackle buildings and the government now seeks to reorganize the area to create a more appealing living space for the masses.

Even at its inception, in April of 2010, the project came under much speculation with accusations of corruption and poor-planning. It was said that the land itself was inappropriate as a housing settlement, and further accusations were made against NABATEC, the Haitian firm which holds the majority of the land, alluding to ulterior motives in offering the land for such purpose.

Many millions were spent to build the settlement, still mostly without water, but the cost for its rehabilitation and modernization should be costlier still, as the cost for purchasing the land from the disgruntled landowners must now be taken into consideration.

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Read more: Canaan, Jerusalem, Camp Corail-Casselesse, OnaVille, Haiti

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