A year on – and the rebuilding continues

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IT is 12 months since Haiti was hit by a destructive earthquake - and they are still clearing the rubble, says retired Methodist minister Rev Edward Holmes.

Haiti - the poorest country in the western hemisphere - was torn apart by the largest earthquake to hit the country for 200 years. Teams of rescue workers and volunteers worked around the clock to help victims after it struck on January 12, 2010. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people were killed in the disaster.

Mr Holmes said until the cleared the rubble nothing else could be done. “They have managed to clear about three per cent of it in 12 months and they are still clearing it by hand. It is thought people’s corpses could still be buried under it all.

“But that is not to say nothing has been done. Quite a lot of work has been carried out by churches and charities and they will continue to be there.”

Haiti is close to Mr Holmes’s heart after he spent 16 years working there. And every year he raises funds for the country with his annual sale, coffee morning and lunch at Central Methodist Church, Brighouse.

The event raised £4,104 last year and this year’s event has raised a further £1,232. “I sent about £27,000 which was raised by people in the area and that has helped people with day to day living,” he said. “The people in Haiti have always been very resilient they just get on with their lives. They don’t expect people to come in and do it for them. They want people to go and work with them. They have the labour but not the equipment.

“It is going to take a long time to rebuild the country but in the meantime they just pick themselves up and dust themselves off and get on with what they can do themselves.

“They do look after themselves and care for each other and will always smile and sing. It keeps their spirits up and keeps them positive, singing. They don’t just sit waiting for help to come in but it is not on the scale that it should be they are getting some help but not like they should.”

Mr Holmes said he would love to revisit the country but at the moment he fells that his efforts are needed to carry on the work already established to raise money.