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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch Washington Post: "Rainy Season Could Mean Suffering is in the Forecast"

Washington Post: "Rainy Season Could Mean Suffering is in the Forecast"

Monday, 05 April 2010 11:55
The Washington Post reported on Sunday on the possible effects of the rainy season on the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. Relief agencies are in a race against time to dredge canals and build retaining walls to protect those in the camps. Anthony Banbury, who was the second in command for the UN in Haiti, told the Post, "The rainy season is a freight train headed right at us." The Post describes what the rains do to the camps:
In post-earthquake Port-au-Prince, rainstorms -- including several brief ones over the past week -- lift refuse out of piles and spread it across streets and camps. With the ooze -- an awful melange of rotting fruit, chicken bones and human waste -- comes a smell that brings to mind
spoiled milk and gangrenous wounds.
During a recent rain a school tent collapsed and water rose to knee level in the camps, washing away belongings.

One of the largest problems confronting the Haitian government and relief agencies is relocation, the Post reports. Failure to do so could lead to "37,000 dead in floods and landslides", according to the Post. There is reluctance in the camps to moving farther away from the city, farther from their community and prospective jobs. Many of the camps, however,  are on private land or "symbolically important public spaces." Charles Clermont, who is leading the relocation task force for the Haitian government, said "We abide by the law…We know the concept is, you can't force someone to go somewhere. But you can force someone to leave a place."

This last statement echoes the report from Mark Schuller that in at least one case, residents of a camp feel like they are being denied services in order to get them to relocate.

To read the entire article, click here.

Tags: rainy season | relocation | shelter


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