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Slide Show: Inside the Clinton Foundation's Shoddily Built, Searingly Hot and Toxic Haiti Trailers | The Nation

Slide Show: Inside the Clinton Foundation's Shoddily Built, Searingly Hot and Toxic Haiti Trailers

  • Children inside Saint-Therese de Darbonne School, Haiti

    Children inside Saint-Therese de Darbonne School (1 of 12)

    When Bill Clinton announced his foundation’s first contribution to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), the project was described as “hurricane-proof...emergency shelters that can also serve as schools.” The facilities, according to the foundation, would be equipped with power generators, restrooms, water and sanitary storage.

     

    But the trailers the foundation installed fell far short of what was promised, as Isabel Macdonal and Isabeau Doucet have reported in The Nation. Here, children sit inside Saint-Therese de Darbonne School in Léogåne, February 11, 2011, weeks after the trailers were first installed.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Trailers in Haiti

    Hurricane shelters installed at the Institut Nationale Haitiano-Caribbean (2 of 12)

    When The Nation visted the “hurricane-proof” shelters in June, we found them to consist of twenty trailers beset by problems, from mold to sweltering heat to shoddy construction. Most disturbing, the trailers were manufactured by the same company, Clayton Homes, that is being sued in the United States for providing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with formaldehyde-laced trailers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Toxic trailers at the Darbonne School, Haiti

    Shelters at Saint-Therese de Darbonne School (3 of 12)

    Three schools in Léogâne—Saint-Therese de Darbonne, Institut Haitiano-Caribbean (INHAC) and Coeur de Jesus—received trailers from the Clinton Foundation to function as classrooms. Temperatures in the trailers exceed 100 degrees F.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Formaldehyde test of trailer in Leogane, Haiti

    Formaldehyde test (4 of 12)

    Air samples collected from twelve of the trailers detected worrying levels of formaldehyde in one, the sixth grade classroom at the Institut Haitiano-Caribbean (INHAC), according to laboratory results. Mold has accumulated in the windows of several shelters because of the humidity and lack of ventilation inside.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Sixth-graders in Haiti

    Sixth-grader says her "head hurts and I feel it spinning..." (5 of 12)

    Judith Seide (left) and Delance Valencia (right), students in the sixth grade, say they regulary suffer from painful headaches in their new Clinton Foundation classroom. Every day, Judith says, her “head hurts and I feel it spinning and I have to stop moving, otherwise I'd fall.”

     

    Similar symptoms were experienced by those living in the FEMA trailers that were found by the CDC to have unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Lab tests as part of The Nation’s investigation in Haiti discovered levels of formaldehyde in the sixth-grade Clinton Foundation classroom in Léogåne at 250 parts per billion—two and a half times the level at which the CDC warned FEMA trailer residents that sensitive people, such as children, could face adverse health effects.

     

    Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald

  • Demosthene Lubert, Leogane, Haiti

    INHAC principal Demosthene Lubert (6 of 12)

    When INHAC principal and teacher Demosthene Lubert first heard that Bill Clinton’s foundation was going to rebuild his collapsed school, he thought he was “in paradise.” Now, he says he is disappointed that the Clinton Foundation did not supply latrines to his school. “I thought the grand foundation of Clinton was going to build us latrines and dig us wells for the children to wash their hands before meals and after using the toilet...especially as we're at the mercy of cholera,” Lubert said with a sigh.

     

    Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald

  • Rot in a Clinton Foundation trailer

    Rot in the wall of a Clinton Foundation trailer (7 of 12)

    Holes began rotting in the walls of the Clinton Foundation’s unventilated trailer classrooms at INHA just six months after the trailer was inaugurated.

     

    Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald

  • Structural engineer Kit Miyamoto inspects a "hurricane shelter"

    Structural engineer Kit Miyamoto inspects a "hurricane-proof" shelter (8 of 12)

    Two weeks into Haiti’s hurricane season, The Nation visited some of the Clinton shelters with Kit Miyamoto, a structural engineer. Examining a loose strap on one of the Clinton Foundation “hurricane shelters” at Coeur de Jesus School in Léogâne, Miyamoto tells The Nation that he thinks it is unlikely that the trailers are, as the foundation has claimed, “hurricane proof.” “To be hurricane-proof you need a heavier structure with concrete or blocks,” he explained.

     

    Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald

  • Coeur de Jesus School, Leogane, Haiti

    Coeur de Jesus School, Léogâne (9 of 12)

    Four of the twenty Clinton classrooms sit empty at the Coeur de Jesus School. Because of the trailers’ leaky roofs, puddles form on the floor with every rainfall. The school has yet to be used for lack of latrines and running water.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Bill Clinton in Haiti

    IHRC co-chairs former President Bill Clinton and Former Prime Minister Jean-Maz Bellerive (10 of 12)

    The Nation made multiple attempts to reach Bill Clinton for comment, but the former president never responded. Garry Conille, the chief of staff for the office of the UN Special Envoy, acknowledged in a telephone interview that the trailer classrooms “would never meet the standards for school building” under Haitian or international regulations.

     

    Above, the two co-chairs of the IHRC, former President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister Jean-Maz Bellerive, at an IHRC press conference following the fourth meeting of the commission, February 23, 2011, at the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Bill Clinton at a Haitian tent camp

    Bill Clinton visits a tent camp in the former Petionville Golf Club (11 of 12)

    Former UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokeswoman Imogen Wall says, “We all knew that that project was misconceived from the start, a classic example of aid designed from a distance with no understanding of ground level realities or needs.”

     

    Above, Clinton visits a tent camp in the former Petionville Golf Club, currently run by Sean Penn, for a photo-op before the third Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) meeting in Port-au-Prince on October 6.

     

    Isabeau Doucet

  • Fraed-Mars Dorleans, administrative director at INHAC, sits in a Clinton Foundation trailer (12 of 12)

    When asked if he believed the trailers would offer adequate protection during a hurricane, Léogâne Department of Civil Protection coordinator Phillippe Joseph seemed taken aback. Clinton had himself said these were hurricane-proof shelters, he said.

     

    Above, Fraed-Mars Dorleans, the administrative director at Institut Nationale Haitiano-Caraibeen school in Léogâne, sits in one of the ten trailers the Clinton Foundation donated to his school last year.

     

    Read Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet’s article in The Nation for the full story on the Clinton Foundation’s poorly built, toxic trailers.

     

    Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald

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