Haiti. Shattered.

Feature story by Kasper Nybo Photography.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2010. Separated by death, but still as if reaching for each other, bodies lie on the concrete floor of the hospital morgue after the 7.0 earthquake that hit on January 12.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2010. Separated by death, but still as if reaching for each other, bodies lie on the concrete floor of the hospital morgue after the 7.0 earthquake that hit on January 12.

In the days that followed the january 12, magnitude 7.0, earthquake in haiti media agencies told a non-stop news story of what became almost 200,000 casualties and 300,000 injured – all directly related to the quake that shattered the nation and especially its capital port-au-prince.

One hundred days after the quake hit, humanitarian photographer Kasper Nybo arrived in Port-au-Prince to document the aftermath of the quake and the declining public health situation. The needs of the Haitian people remains urgent, and the impact on their society as catastrophic, but the light of media attention has been switched off and left a disaster in the dark.

Port-au-Prince. The January 12. earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and destroyed thousands of houses. An estimated 2,000,000 people are left homeless, in a country already struck by immense poverty.

Port-au-Prince. The January 12. earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and destroyed thousands of houses. An estimated 2,000,000 people are left homeless, in a country already struck by immense poverty.

Port-au-Prince. A boy is salvaging wood from a destroyed factory. In spite of the situation there is an immense will to move on and rebuild.

Port-au-Prince. A boy is salvaging wood from a destroyed factory. In spite of the situation there is an immense will to move on and rebuild.

Port-au-Prince. A young woman arguing with guards at the hospital gates to be allowed inside before nightfall.

Port-au-Prince. A young woman arguing with guards at the hospital gates to be allowed inside before nightfall.

Port-au-Prince. A father watches over his 2 days older daughter while she’s receiving treatment in the maternity tent in the general hospital. Much of the hospital was damaged and the remains are unsafe, most people are treated in tents outside, struggling with intense heat and no air-condition.

Port-au-Prince. A father watches over his 2 days older daughter while she’s receiving treatment in the maternity tent in the general hospital. Much of the hospital was damaged and the remains are unsafe, most people are treated in tents outside, struggling with intense heat and no air-condition.

Port-au-Prince. A man with chest injuries is being supported to stand for an x-ray examination of his lungs.

Port-au-Prince. A man with chest injuries is being supported to stand for an x-ray examination of his lungs.

In a cloud of dust a wall collapses in a back-alley in Port-au-Prince as the rebuilding process slowly begins. The work is extremely dangerous and casualties are high due to the unstable remaining buildings and complete lack of safety equipment.

In a cloud of dust a wall collapses in a back-alley in Port-au-Prince as the rebuilding process slowly begins. The work is extremely dangerous and casualties are high due to the unstable remaining buildings and complete lack of safety equipment.

With an injured foot and no clean water, a man is doing the family laundry, while his girlfriend is watching from their tent in a smaller camp next to the Presidential palace.

With an injured foot and no clean water, a man is doing the family laundry, while his girlfriend is watching from their tent in a smaller camp next to the Presidential palace.

Empty metal coffins piled up in a corner of a hospital morgue outside the cold and crowded storing rooms. A deep humming from the air-condition echoes on the thick walls, breaking the deafening silence of the building.

Empty metal coffins piled up in a corner of a hospital morgue outside the cold and crowded storing rooms. A deep humming from the air-condition echoes on the thick walls, breaking the deafening silence of the building.

City of the homeless

On the streets of Port-au-Prince all clear spots and open spaces are occupied by temporary camps and tents that are turning into more and more permanent housing for hundreds of thousands of people. Sanitation in the street camps is extremely poor and diseases related to the lack of access to safe water and sanitation systems are spreading and have high epidemic potential, a risk that is rising with the rainy season coming closer. Diarrhea and other simple diseases are claiming lives daily in the camps and in the hospitals. In spite of an impossible situation that will take years to recover from, and call for many more casualties in the process, the Haitian people posses a strength and determination that deserves all admiration. The will to rebuild and move on is stunning and ever present. The urge to rebuild does however hold another threat, as the work to tear down building remains is extremely dangerous and safety equipment is non-existent. Work crews are seen all over town climbing around halfway collapsed buildings, taking them down by hand, brick by brick. The emergency rooms have a constant flow of workmen having fallen from or being crushed under buildings. Some are patched up and send back to their families, some pay with their lives in the effort to re-gain what was lost.

 

Waiting game

The need to secure food, water, sanitation and housing is immense and is far from having reached any acceptable standard. And while the Haitian people wait for promised international funds and aid to be released, they scample all resources availble to them to move forward.

 

 

Images and words by Kasper Nybo Photography. We work in the no-man’s land between narrative observation and visual storytelling, capturing authenticity and creating no-nonsense visual communication. We believe in the power of originality and honest stories across our line of work in editorial, commercial, artistic and humanitarian photography. Get in touch and let us know how we can help you deliver stronger stories! For bookings or questions click above. If you want to read more about us, click right here.