Willesden aid worker speaks about his experience working with Haiti’s earthquake victims

Resident worked in the Caribbean island as an aid worker

A Willesden aid worker has spoken about his experience working with victim’s of one of the world’s most devastating disasters.

On the second anniversary of a devastating earthquake in the Haiti which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people, Hugh Earp spent a year carrying out relief work.

Mr Earp, of Willesden Lane, spent a year in the Caribbean country following the aftermath working for poverty charity CARE International as a Shelter Project Manager.

He said: “When I first got there, it was a country in shock and mourning, but underlying that was strength and a determination to recover.”

Mr Earp previously worked with Save the Children and has worked in the Ivory Coast.

In Haiti, he was involved in project managing the construction of temporary shelters and accommodation for families and residents.

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A total of 1.5m people were left homeless after the disaster but he explained how it was vital to keep professional.

He explained: “It does affect you when you see devastation like that but it’s also a job for us so important to treat it as work because otherwise people won’t survive.”

The 27-year-old, who arrived in the country on January 25, 14, days after the disaster struck, worked in Carrefour, a suburb of the capital Port-au-Prince and also in seaside town Leogane.

Speaking of the devastation he witnessed he pointed to two vivid memories he had of his year long stint.

Describing a scene in Carrefour he said: “The suburbs are so densely populated, imagine a steep hillside completely covered in 2 story buildings crammed next to one and other. Then seeing that completely obliterated with just piles of rubble on the hillside in its place.”

“However, towards the end of my time I stood in the same spot, looking at the hillside all the rubbish was replaced by corrugated iron roofs which CARE had created, that was where you could really see the hard work we had done.”

CARE, which was established in 1945, implements development projects and disaster relief in more than 40 countries.

For information visit www.careinternational.org.uk