The Shelters That Clinton Built — 6 Comments

  1. Horrifying. I hope Haitian lawyers are working pro bono around the clock to repair the damage done to these people.
    Gutted that your designs were never used Owen. In my mind it’s as simple as getting hold of one of your books or DVDs…..but things are never that simple when corrupt politicians get together with corrupt companies to grandstand about how compassionate they are.

    • Quite a few earthbag designs have been built in Haiti. So it seems our work has been helpful. But it’s barely a shadow of what it could have been if the donated funds were spent wisely. Like I said, just one million $ could have been 3,000 eathquake and hurricane shelters that would last many years. Instead they got some toxic trailers that will only last a few years and then hauled to the dump. Another big problem is the Haitian government. Corruption is rampant. They strong armed the only polypropylene bag maker in Haiti not to sell bags for earthbag houses. They could only sell them for storing rice, grains, sand bags, etc. This way the politicians get kickbacks from the cement companies. This happened just as earthbag building started to become popular in Haiti. Something similar just happened in Nepal. The government committee who was prepared to publish earthbag guidelines as an approved building method was suddenly disbanded by the super corrupt government. Months of work writing reports, attending meetings, engineering calcs, drawings, etc. by NGOs was wiped out. Now earthbag is still in legal limbo there.

  2. Malcolm Reading Consultants held an international design competition in Haiti where lots of viable housing options were presented.

    Here’s a later story that reported on the international design competition:

    Here’s one of my designs that never got built. It uses crushed rubble from collapsed buildings to fill earthbags.

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