It could cost more than $1 billion to remove debris remaining from a Jan. 12 earthquake that killed at least 200,000 people. Haiti's reconstruction commission has approved a plan to clean up six neighborhoods, The New York Times reported.
Haitian officials said the country hadn't had the necessary funding to start cleanup efforts and it took a long time for international aid to arrive. One American contractor, Randall Perkins, said the sheer size of the cleanup may have overwhelmed the country's leaders.
Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former U.S. President Bill Clinton head the reconstruction commission, which recently approved a $17 million United Nations Development Program to start work cleaning up the downtown-area neighborhoods.
"This is what the people have been waiting for," said Perkins, watching his $400,000 hydraulic excavator tear into rubble in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Perkins entered into a contract with a Haitian company to remove debris from the earthquake, but he said it has taken a long time to get the cleanup process started.
"Finally, something is moving in debris," said Jessica Faieta, the United Nations Development Program's senior country director in Haiti.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]