The one year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake has come and gone. While the efficiency of Haiti’s relief and rebuilding efforts have been criticized by politicians and citizens alike, there is a powerful tool that has brought much assistance to the Haitian people and whose market for change continues to expand: the cellular phone.
Though Haiti is struggling with the disastrous effects of last year’s earthquake and ranks as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, it is rich with cell phone users. Over 37 percent of Haitians have their own phone, and every Haitian household access to a cell phone, either owned or shared.
Immediately after the earthquake, text messages were lifesaving and served many purposes. Rescue workers relied on text messages for locations, health condition, and survivor identification. Trapped individuals texted rescuers as they waited for help to arrive.