LGF is part of making history at the Digicel Marché en Fer site

Much has been planned for the rebuilding of Haiti after the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated the nation. Yet few projects have been so ambitious and so visible as the rebuilding of the Marché en Fer in downtown Port-au-Prince and LifeGivingForce was fortunate enough to play an important role.

Haiti Iron Market - Before reconstruction

Designed in Paris in the 1880s, the Iron Market was originally erected in 1890 during a highpoint in Haiti’s economic history by President Florvil Hyppolite and stood as a symbol of Haitian progress until 2008 when it was partially damaged by fire. During the earthquake of 2010, the remaining structure suffered massive damage, dealing a death blow to 120 years of Haitian history.

Over the last eleven months, the Digicel Group, a Caribbean-based mobile phone company operating in Haiti, has been working to restore the Marché en Fer to its original grandeur. The rebuilding project has been funded and spearheaded by Digicel’s Chairman, Denis O’Brien in a personal capacity and is valued at US$12 million. While the project has remained true to the style of the original edifice, pains have been taken to ensure that the structure is built to international safety standards and equipped with all the needs of a 21st century market. This includes numerous ceiling fans to cool down vendors and patrons, electricity for appliances, and concrete stalls with latticed partitions to hang wares.

Haiti Iron Market - After reconstruction

Perhaps most importantly, LifeGivingForce has teamed with Digicel to provide potable water of the highest standard for the entire market. The system installed can produce up to 20,000 liters of water per day and will be delivered to 14 different access points making clean drinking water accessible to all. Power for the pumps, and for all electricity needs of the market place, will come from a solar array of 533 solar panels producing 108KW of electricity, making it the largest solar array in the Caribbean.

Clean drinking water at Marche en Fer - supplied by LGF

The opening ceremony for the Marché en Fer was held on January 11, 2011. Team LGF were lucky enough to be amongst the attendees at the inauguration where Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, the former US President Bill Clinton and the Mayor of Port-au-Prince, Muscadin Jean-Yves Jason, jointly cut the ceremonial ribbon. It is estimated that over 900 vendors will operate from the new building selling arts and crafts, fruit and vegetables, dry produce and beauty products – many of these had stands in the Iron Market for years prior to last year’s earthquake which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Port-Au-Prince. LifeGivingForce is proud to be a part of this project as it represents a firm commitment to the rebuilding of Haiti and an opportunity for the citizens of downtown Port-au-Prince to gain access to safe, clean drinking water in a place where they live and work. It’s the first major project to come to completion since the earthquake, so many see it as a symbol of the start of reconstruction in Haiti and a beacon of hope. For us, and for all Haitians, we hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

Digicel Marche en Fer inauguration - Team LGF

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