2 Important Video Reports from Haiti

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Friday, 12 February 2010 16:28
Watch Aljazeera’s Fault Lines for an examination into the debate over reconstruction plans for Haiti. Unlike too many reports, Fault Lines presents perspectives from Haitian economists and other experts on how Haiti can rebuild and develop in order to best serve the needs of the Haitian people.

The report also looks at the self-organization in communities of displaced earthquake survivors that has helped ensure aid distribution remains orderly and reaches everyone in need.

And a video from the Connecticut-based Haiti Health Foundation (HFF) reports on the exodus of thousands of earthquake survivors from Port-au-Prince to Jérémie, a town of some 30,000-plus people on the far Southwestern coast. Jérémie, HHF says, is
where people depend on subsistence farming, charcoal production, and other menial jobs for their livelihood. The average income is just $90-$300 US per year.

The area is very isolated, and even under the most favorable conditions communication is scant, with no health services for the poor. Living conditions are dehumanizing—families crushed into hovels of banana leaves and thatch, shacks unsuitable for human habitation. It is heartbreaking to see children rooting with animals through the garbage for scraps of food.
Nevertheless, HHF director Dr. Jeremiah Lowney reports that thousands have arrived from Port-au-Prince, “coming by bus, by boat, and some overland” walking all the way:
“Many of them are sick, many injured, some are arriving with broken bones, untreated amputations – in terrible and troubling physical condition. All of them are dehydrated and hungry and in need of comfort and medical care.
Dr. Lowney states that his organization doesn’t want the refugees to “be stuck in Jérémie,” but that “they can’t go back to Port-au-Prince.”

Tags: reconstruction