Haiti earthquake cleanup continues

The people of Haiti are still reeling from the devastating earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people. A
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Since 2005, Jay and Jan Nielsen have spent much of their time collecting money to help the people of Haiti. They’re not getting paid, and they say it’s all about doing the right thing.

Two weeks ago, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake decimated the country and killed at least 2,200 people. Now, Jay and Jan are there, arriving in Haiti almost a week ago to help with the cleanup efforts.

“We brought money, and when we run out, I may have to go home and fly right back and bring more money,” Jay said.

The Nielsens traveled to Savanette, an area of Haiti hit hard by the massive earthquake.

“We have spent the last three or four days walking the whole community, about five miles a day,” Jan said. “And we have visited almost all the houses in the community and talked to them and cataloged their damage and all of that.”

Jay added, “We have 60 houses that are completely flat or destroyed, and all of the rest of the houses have serious damage where no one can live in them.”

That community is made up of 350 homes.

“For two or three hundred dollars, we’re managing to save a house that’s four rooms,” Jay said. “If we tried to replace that house with cement block, it would be five or six thousand dollars. Most of the houses are a type of construction that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages.”

The Nielsens work with Fanfan Medna, who lives in Haiti. He uses the money the Nielsens send to Haiti to coordinate workers to build and repair homes. He was there when the earthquake happened two weeks ago.

“I went outside, and everything is moving like this, and I said, It’s an earthquake,” Medna said. “We could feel it all.”

The Nielsens expected to be in Haiti for another week, but say they may have to make a second trip. If you would like to help their effort, you can visit the Missions International of America website.

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