[Translation of an article from HaitiLibre for July 6, 2010.]
The Haitian government and international aid organizations are in competition over construction of dwellings for the 1.5 million people living in camps. But before even beginning reconstruction, they need to determine who owns the land – a major challenge after the earthquake, which killed some 16,000 government officials and destroyed an unknown number of land title records.
“The catastrophe has made land claims more difficult and this situation is going to get worse. After close to 250,000 deaths, inheritance and the sale of land raise a number of questions. Is the owner dead or alive? If he is dead, are there children with rights to the land?”asks Erik Vittrup, head of the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-Habitat), based in Rio de Janeiro. (more…)