I agree with the student that the management of 10 million cubic meters of debris resulting from the destruction of infrastructure and buildings after 2010’s Haiti Earthquake presented a learning platform for managing debris to aid disaster response as well as recovery and reconstruction activities in a holistic approach (UNDP, 2013). The first approach of disaster management should be quantifying the volume and extensiveness of the problem through collecting data to inform response strategies. Upon assessing and mapping, actors should focus on adopting cost-effective and need-based approaches such as localized debris removal as short-term solutions before embarking on secondary and tertiary debris management and recovery strategies
Although writers state that the process was slow, the joint debris management projects ( Debris I and Debris II and the Debris Léogâne project) in Port-au-Prince is a low cost post-earthquake rehabilitation approach of managing debris through holistic strategies such as community planning, demolition, and removal, transportation, reusing and recycling of debris to restore functionalities of infrastructures (UNDP, 2013).
I concur with the student that debris management is a complementary process of the holistic recovery operations as it clears roads thus enabling supplies, prevents aggravation of the already compromised health system by reducing the spread of vector-borne diseases, and promotes sustainability by improving environmental health through management of poisonous substances in debris such as asbestos. I also support the student’s view that that Haiti’s response to the burden of debris is not a good case study for deriving lessons as it illustrates how thing should not be done because the recovery process was shaky and flawed because of poor governance, inadequate infrastructure, poor planning, environmental degradation, siphoning off resources, and disagreements (Wade, 2015). With debris presenting health and environmental challenges, the focus of management should seek to address inherent challenges such as inadequacy of human resources, and ineffectiveness in the assessment of waste quantities and management strategies. Solving the challenges allows debris management stages of removal, planning, treating poisonous substances, and waste disposal in a sustainable way.