Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

FOROM AYITI : Tèt Ansanm Pou'n Chanje Ayiti.
 
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 To whom it may concern

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MessageSujet: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 10:22

Editor's Note: This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, with additional support from the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting.

When Demosthene Lubert heard that Bill Clinton 's foundation was going to rebuild his collapsed school at the epicenter of Haiti's January 12, 2010, earthquake, in the coastal city of Léogâne, the academic director thought he was "in paradise."

Media[ Click for More ]. [Click to View]Slide Show: Inside the Clinton Foundation's Shoddily Built, Searingly Hot and Toxic Haiti Trailers...About The Authors.Isabeau Doucet
Isabeau Doucet is a freelance journalist working in Port-au Prince, Haiti, where she has written for Haiti Liberte and...
Isabel Macdonald
Isabel Macdonald is a freelance journalist and former communications director of the media watch group Fairness and....Also by The Author[ Click for More ] .One Year Later, Haiti Hasn't 'Built Back Better' (World)
The year of relief efforts following Haiti's devastating earthquake has only exposed of the failures of the NGO aid system.

Isabeau Doucet
1 comment .Also by The Author[ Click for More ] .Haiti: Where's the Money? (Foreign Affairs, Regions and Countries, World)
Despite all the post-earthquake promises, just a fraction of the aid pledged has actually been delivered.

Isabel Macdonald
2 comments Lou Dobbs: New Show, Same Old Hypocrisy? (Media, Immigration to the US, Politics)
When it comes to his record on business reporting, Dobbs's hypocrisy has been no less flagrant.

Isabel Macdonald.Related Topics.Clinton Global Company Affiliates Haiti Indictment Natural Disaster .The project was announced by Clinton as his foundation's first contribution to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which the former president co-chairs. The foundation described the project as "hurricane-proof...emergency shelters that can also serve as schools...to ensure the safety of vulnerable populations in high risk areas during the hurricane season," while also providing Haitian schoolchildren "a decent place to learn" and creating local jobs. The facilities, according to the foundation, would be equipped with power generators, restrooms, water and sanitary storage. They became one of the IHRC's first projects.

However, when Nation reporters visited the "hurricane-proof" shelters in June, six to eight months after they'd been installed, we found them to consist of twenty imported prefab trailers beset by a host of problems, from mold to sweltering heat to shoddy construction. Most disturbing, they were manufactured by the same company, Clayton Homes, that is being sued in the United States for providing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with formaldehyde-laced trailers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Air samples collected from twelve Haiti trailers detected worrying levels of this carcinogen in one, according to laboratory results obtained as part of a joint investigation by The Nation and The Nation Institute's Investigative Fund.

Clayton Homes is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company run by Warren Buffett, one of the "notable" private-sector members of the Clinton Global Initiative, according to the initiative's website. ("Members" are typically required to pay $20,000 a year to the charity, but foundation officials would not disclose whether Buffett had made such a donation.) Buffett was also a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter during the 2008 presidential race, and he co-hosted a fundraiser that brought in at least $1 million for her campaign.

By mid-June, two of the four schools where the Clinton Foundation classrooms were installed had prematurely ended classes for the summer because the temperature in the trailers frequently exceeded 100 degrees, and one had yet to open for lack of water and sanitation facilities.

As Judith Seide, a student in Lubert's sixth-grade class, explained to The Nation, she and her classmates regularly suffer from painful headaches in their new Clinton Foundation classroom. Every day, she said, her "head hurts and I feel it spinning and have to stop moving, otherwise I'd fall." Her vision goes dark, as is the case with her classmate Judel, who sometimes can't open his eyes because, said Seide, "he's allergic to the heat." Their teacher regularly relocates the class outside into the shade of the trailer because the swelter inside is insufferable.

Sitting in the sixth-grade classroom, student Mondialie Cineas, who dreams of becoming a nurse, said that three times a week the teacher gives her and her classmates painkillers so that they can make it through the school day. "At noon, the class gets so hot, kids get headaches," the 12-year-old said, wiping beads of sweat from her brow. She is worried because "the kids feel sick, can't work, can't advance to succeed."

Word about the students' headaches has made it all the way to the Léogâne mayor's office, but like the students, their teachers and parents, Mayor Santos Alexis chalked it up to the intense heat inside the trailers.

* * *

But headaches were not the only health problems students, staff and parents at the Institut Haitiano-Caribbean (INHAC) told us they've suffered from since the inauguration of the classrooms. Innocent Sylvain, a shy janitor who looks much older than his 41 years, spends more time than anyone in the new trailer classrooms, with the inglorious task of mopping up the water that leaks through the doors and windows each time it rains. He has felt a burning sensation in his eyes ever since he began working long hours in the trailers. One of his eyes is completely bloodshot, and he said, "They itch and burn." He'd previously been sensitive to eye irritation, but he says he's had worse "problems since the month of January"—when the schoolrooms opened their doors.

Any number of factors might be contributing to the headaches and eye irritation reported by INHAC staff and students. However, similar symptoms were experienced by those living in the FEMA trailers that were found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Lab tests conducted as part of our investigation in Haiti discovered levels of the carcinogen in the sixth-grade Clinton Foundation classroom in Léogâne at 250 parts per billion—two and a half times the level at which the CDC warned FEMA trailer residents that sensitive people, such as children, could face adverse health effects. Assay Technologies, the accredited lab that analyzed the air tests, identifies 100 parts per billion and more as the level at which "65–80 percent of the population will most likely exhibit some adverse health symptoms...when exposed continually over extended periods of time."

Randy Maddalena, a scientist specializing in indoor pollutants at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, characterized the 250 parts per billion finding as "a very high level" of formaldehyde and warned that "it's of concern," particularly given the small sample size. An elevated level of formaldehyde in one of twelve trailers tested is comparable to the formaldehyde emissions problems detected in about 9 percent of similar Clayton mobile homes supplied by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina. Maddalena explained that in "normal" buildings, you'll see rates twelve to twenty-five times lower than 250 parts per billion, "and even that's considered above regulatory thresholds."

According to the CDC, formaldehyde exposure can exacerbate symptoms of asthma and has been linked to chronic lung disease. Studies have shown that children are particularly vulnerable to its respiratory effects. The chemical was recently added to the US Department of Health and Human Services' "Report of Carcinogens," based on studies linking exposure to formaldehyde with increased risk for rare types of cancer.

"You should get those kids outta there," Maddalena said. The scientist emphasized that Haiti's hot and humid climate could well be contributing to high emissions of the carcinogen in the classroom. Indeed, months before the launch of the Clinton trailer project, the nation's climate was widely cited as a key problem with a trailer industry proposal to ship FEMA trailers to Haiti for shelter after the earthquake. The proposal was ultimately rejected by FEMA, following a critical letter from Bennie Thompson , chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, who argued, "This country's immediate response to help in this humanitarian crisis should not be blemished by later concerns over adverse health consequences precipitated by our efforts."

Yet several months later, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Clayton Homes had been awarded a million-dollar contract to ship twenty trailers to Haiti, for use as classrooms for schoolchildren. The Clinton Foundation claims it went through a bidding process before awarding the contract to Clayton Homes, which was already embroiled in the FEMA trailer lawsuit. But despite repeated requests, the foundation has not provided The Nation with any documentation of this process.

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Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet
July 11, 2011
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MessageSujet: Re: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 10:35

Does President Clinton know about this?What does he plan to do about it?What about the money Martelly and his sponsors are collecting form the phone calls and the tranferts that haitians are paying ;where is it?The Minister of Education should stop the shiping of these containers to haiti.How can the students learn in such conditions?This is what happens when you depend on charity.In the meantime the politicians are fighting for political powers to ratify a Prime Minister.What the hell do we need a President and a Prime Minister for if we can not even collect the debris and the garbages in the streets, rebuild our infrastructures, and provide our children with clean classrooms where they can learn in a safe environment?

Enough is enough.When will haiti stop being a corrupt country where politicians are seeking offices only to enrich themeselves? This is really alarming.They are killing our children with cancer;they are abusing them , and nobody is there to protect them.
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MessageSujet: Re: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 10:54

Parfois en voulant bien faire on aggrave la situation sans meme le savoir. Mwen sur ke Mr. Clinton pa ni o kouran ni responsab de gaz kap degaje nan trailer yo, mintou ler pwofeser yo te siyale mair leogane lan se poul te pran sa pi oserye e sa pa etonem non ke li aji konsa vu kalite moun san zintelijans ak edikasyon yap eli nan peyi sa-a.

Mwen sur ke Mr. Clinton va pran dispozisyon poul remedye pwoblem lan. Li pa yon monstre pase sa. Nou pap janm konen paske pa janm gen swit nan nouvel yo.

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MessageSujet: Re: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 11:18

I Know Mr. Clinton wants to help ,but he must have known what happened to the people of Louisisana who were living in these trailers.It would be better that these children stay home instead of sending them to schools in these trailers where they can contact cancer and all kind of diseases.How can a child learn is such an environment?Where are the Minister of education,The Minister of health and The Minister of public safety?

se bagay saa ki fè yo di ayiti se yon peyi a lanvè, nou kreye yon paket minister epi yon pa vo lot.
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MessageSujet: Re: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 11:29

Le gros roseau a écrit:
I Know Mr. Clinton wants to help ,but he must have known what happened to the people of Louisisana who were living in these trailers.
Encore des accusations gratuites; Ou ginler resevwa yon doktora pou sa, se pa posib non; Clinton te konen trailer yo gen pwodwi chimik ki bay kanser alor se yo fe ekspre poul ka touye timoun ayisyen yo; pa vre Roseau.

Ou pa fet pou ap akize yon moun konsa Rozo. Poukisa li tan difisil pou moun fe echanj avek ou.

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MessageSujet: Re: To whom it may concern   Mer 13 Juil 2011 - 11:41

Nanpren moun ki konn gade telvisyon o Zeta zuni ki pa konnen sa sinistre Louisianna yo te di yap soufri nan trailer sa yo?Se menm konpayi saa ke yo rele la jistis pou soufrans ke moun sa yo tap andire. li atik la byen anvan ou vle fèm prosè pou gremesi. mwen mande pou otorite ayisyen yo ispann kite trailer sa yo rantre an ayiti.mwen pa rekonet genyen oken saint sou la tè patikilyèman yon politisyen ki deklare ak bouch li mwen fuck-up the rice production in haiti.
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