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Clean-up effort begins in ruined Port-au-Prince

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Haiti on Sunday for the second time since the huge Jan. 12 earthquake, a clean-up operation is slowly beginning in Port-au-Prince. An exclusive report by FRANCE 24.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Haiti on Sunday for his second visit to Port-au-Prince since the 7-0-magnitude earthquake on Jan.12 destroyed much of the Haitian capital. Two months later, the city still lies in ruins.

But after the initial task of getting medical and food aid to Haitians, an immense clean-up operation is slowly getting underway.

A troop of 100 local workers, nicknamed 'yellow ants' because of the T-shirts they wear, have been recruited by aid groups and local authorities to clean up various sites around the capital, destroyed by the quake. Each person is paid five dollars for seven hours' work per day.

Nancy, a 36-year-old mother of six, says the pay isn't enough.

"It's hard work, it's really tough....We work every day; every day we eat dust and shift concrete for 200 gourdes. All of this work for five dollars. It's good to have a job but we don't earn enough."

As the government's priority is to get Haiti's education system back up and running, one of the sites expected to cleared completely in a few weeks is a teacher training school in Port-au-Prince's Canapé Vert district.

Site manager Pierre Cantaven says: "Clearing the rubble of all the schools is essential. Rebuilding schools is essential if we're going to get the country back on its feet."

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