As Hurricane Season Nears, Bottlenecks Increase Dangers to IDP’s
|Tuesday, 24 May 2011 16:25|
The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report last week noting, among other things, that the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) is still not operational, although it still has several months to do so before its mandate ends:
The GAO goes on to note a significant disconnect between what the Haitian government has identified as priorities, and what IHRC has green-lighted:
This is perhaps not surprising considering the IHRC’s problems in ensuring involvement of Haitian partners in decision-making.
The debris removal, of course, is necessary in part to clear space for new shelters, and getting displaced persons out of IDP camps, where cholera – abetted by a severe lack of adequate sanitation – can be a serious danger. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported this weekend on a new milestone in post-quake tragedy: 5,200 cholera deaths and 300,000 infections over the past seven months.) Yet just 20 percent of the rubble has been removed, according to various officials. USAID has not made rubble removal much of a priority either, according to the USAID Office of the Inspector General.
Almost a year ago, we warned of the possibly devastating consequences as thousands of people were still in tents or living under tarps as the hurricane season began. We cited the Red Cross’ Alex Wynter at the time, as quoted in the Miami Herald:
Now, the hurricane season is about to begin again – and again, it may be more severe than usual, as AP reports:
As we’ve noted recently, many people displaced by the earthquake have made the difficult choice of returning to damaged buildings rather than remain in camps where services are lacking (with some lacking any NGO attention at all), and where they may be subject to forced evictions, as IDP's in Delmas were yesterday. But some of these structures may also not be suited to withstand the impact of hurricanes making landfall in Haiti.