PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- An unfinished monument to a quarter of a million Haitians who died in a devastating earthquake three years ago is manifestation of how much remains to be done to rebuild Haiti.
The monument is located at the ruins of Haiti's tax bureau. Today, people walking past the construction site do not even know what it was designed to be.
"I didn't know what they want to build here," Manuel Jocirin, 25, told Xinhua.
Dozens of government workers in the tax building were crushed to death in the quake, and then President Rene Preval pledged to transform the location into a place for meditation and reflection, and erect a memorial to the deceased.
But three years on, the project remains undone.
On Saturday, in a low-key ceremony marking the third anniversary of the quake at the ruins of the former National Palace, Haitian President Michel Martelly lamented that there was still no monument to the victims.
Former Culture Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue told the online Haiti Press Network recently: "The need for a monument in memory of a terrible past is important to the degree that it symbolizes not just our duty to remember, but also our personal and collective grief."
Yet chances are slim that the memorial will be erected in the near future.
Besides stalling construction of the monument, reconstruction progress has been painfully slow.
About 350,000 displaced earthquake victims still live in makeshift camps. They are subject to crimes as well as infectious diseases.
A destroyed local church at the capital has become temporary home for the homeless, many of whom have lost limbs in the massive catastrophe.
In Port-au-Prince, shanty construction sites are scattered among earthquake debris. It is even hard to tell reconstruction materials from the debris.
The massive earthquake that jolted Haiti three years ago has triggered an outpouring of sympathy from all over the world and put reconstruction in the spotlight, especially when the third anniversary came.
On the eve of the anniversary of the quake, Martelly acknowledged that reconstruction efforts have been characterized by "one failure after another."
He called for greater accountability for the management of reconstruction funds.
"Our aim is to change the way things have been done," he said.
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