chapter  2
20 Pages

Disaster’s past, present and future

Beyond exposure, failure and resilience
WithKasia Mika

Haiti's geographical location and geological formation, the island's exposure to hazards, is only one, external dimension of the local community's and individuals' susceptibility to harm. The geological make-up of the island is the other dimension of this exposure. Scientists have identified and located at least four major fault lines in Haiti – the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault, the Septentrional Fault, the Trans-Haitian Fault and the Léogâne Fault – environmental hazards that are rendered fatal through compound vulnerability. These intertwined histories of urban topography, environmental pressures, migration and displacement were directly linked to Haiti's wider political history, defined to a great extent by internal instability and foreign intervention and experienced, after Erica Caple James, as ensekirite. It is, 'an ontological, pernicious, and powerful state of "routinized ruptures" that plagues Haiti's efforts to consolidate its democracy and create a climate of peace and security'.