Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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 Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster

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jafrikayiti
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MessageSujet: Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster   Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster EmptyMar 17 Mai 2011 - 12:07

"In a cholera outbreak, a purifying tablet costs $1 to $2 a day. What do you do when your daily salary cannot buy a tablet. You just don’t buy one.”




Haiti: After the Earthquake, the Disaster. Ottawa Life Magazine, March 2011

http://www.ottawalife.com/index.php/haiti-after-the-earthquake-the-disaster/

Who can forget? At 16:53 local time on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Haiti, one of the poorest countries on earth was hit by a natural disaster. The terrifying 7.0 magnitude earthquake that swept across the island left 222,570 people dead and 300,572 injured. To add salt to the wound, also destroyed was Haiti’s already fragile infrastructure it would need to recover. Sixty per cent of the nation’s hospitals were reduced to rubble. Eighty per cent of the schools in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince were flattened. More than 180,000 houses were destroyed, leaving three million people homeless.

But January 12, 2010 was just the beginning. After the natural disaster, a second disaster arrived – one created by humans. By mid-November 2010, more than a thousand people had died of avoidable cholera. Another 3,000 people, many of them children, became infected. Endemic rape in makeshift camps was responsible, in part, for 7,000 babies being delivered every single month since the quake. More than a year later and a mere five per cent of the rubble has been removed.

So what went wrong? Why has the recovery been such a slow one? Haiti hasn’t been short of support. The international community rallied around the small island in a way rarely seen after a natural disaster. The floods in Pakistan displaced 21 million people. Haiti left three million people homeless, yet Haiti attracted almost three times the amount of donations worldwide. Already one of the world’s poorest nations before the disaster, the world’s hearts reached out to Haitians – especially Canadian ones. Billions of dollars were collected from governments and individuals. Canadians alone sent more than a billion dollars to Haiti.

What went wrong, some claim, was the election. Amid a cholera outbreak and civil chaos, the United Nations (U.N.) decided it was time to call an election — the first democratic election since 1991. Not only that, the election was held minus a major political party and Haiti’s last popularly-elected leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party (Lavalas or FL) brought down the U.S backed dictatorship of (Baby Doc) Jean-Claude Duvalier. Duvalier made millions in the drug trade and oversaw the torture and execution of thousands of Haitians. Aristide was later exiled in South Africa after being ousted in a coup d’état led by Duvalier’s soldiers seven years ago.

Not surprisingly, many labeled the U.N.-organized election a sham. Jean Saint-Vil, founder of Akasan, an Ottawa based Haitian aid organization says “the major flaw with the election is that it did not allow the most popular party (Fanmi Lavalas) and Jean-Bertrand Aristide to participate.” It also didn’t help that tally sheets went missing, and lots of them. The Centre for Economic and Policy Research said the Organization of American States (OAS) found 12 per cent of the tally sheets were not received by the electoral council.

Holding an election under such circumstances produced a predictable result – mayhem. Up to 50,000 votes had to be cast aside as fraudulent or “irregular.” Seething crowds erupted into violence as the Haiti’s desperately poor thronged to vote for Rene Preval, former president and ally of Aristide. And indicative of the election, official preliminary results put the popular Preval out of the running. Instead, results from January 29, 2010 showed a government-backed candidate, Jude Celestin, would advance to a second-round vote against former first lady Mirlande Manigat. Celestin is the former head of the government’s road-building outfit. Manigat is a well-known opposition leader and former first lady. Flamboyant carnival singer Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly was the third-placed candidate.

The election disempowered Haitians says Saint-Vil. The whole process “from A to Z was controlled and financed by a segment of the international community — or what refers to itself as the international community.” (That would be the United States, France and Canada.) While other devastated countries have received Marshall Plan style aid, Haiti received a poorly executed election. The Marshall Plan was a large-scale economic program formulated by the United States to build a stronger economic base for Europe in the wake of World War II. A similar plan to build an economically strong Haiti wasn’t even on the table.

Trevor Hache of the Canada Haiti Action Network agrees. Western countries had a vested interest in controlling the election and its outcome. Excluding the ruling Lavalas party was no accident. “The international community needs to stop interfering in Haiti’s political and social affairs,” says Hache. But since Lavalas is not the favoured political movement of Canada, France and the United States, it has not been allowed to really participate since the coup in 2004.” Saint-Vil cites Lavalas’ left wing politics as reason for its exclusion from the election. Policies to lift Haitians out of poverty run contrary to the interests, Saint-Vil concludes, of Western governments and multinational firms seeking sweat shop labour.

As for why Haiti is still a mess, Saint-Vil offers a similar explanation. Billions were raised to support Haiti, but they were raised by organizations outside of Haiti. “A lot of people sent money to the American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross but hardly anyone sent money to the Haitian Red Cross,” Saint-Vil points out. He also says social inequality in Haiti has only deepened since the crisis. The wealthy ruling classes of mostly fair-skinned Haitians actively oppress Haiti’s poor. For instance, in 2008, the Government voted in a law to increase the minimum wage from $2 a day to $5 a day. Wealthy Haitians ensured the law was overturned. This indirectly fuelled the cholera outbreak. “In a cholera outbreak, a purifying tablet costs $1 to $2 a day. What do you do when your daily salary cannot buy a tablet. You just don’t buy one.”

Jude Jean-Francois, coordinator of FESHOG (Forum d’Entraide et de Solidarité des Haïtiens d’Ottawa-Gatineau), describes the situation in Haiti as “still dire.” “We still have 1.5 million people with no roof over their head surviving each day.” FESHOG was formed after the earthquake last year to unite Haitian-based associations in the Ottawa-Gatineau region in their efforts toward reconstruction in Haiti.

“I doubt when they are talking about reconstruction they are thinking about reconstructing Port-au-Prince. We will face the same problems in 10 to 15 years, a crowded city with crippled infrastructure,” says Jean-Francois. “The money is not being used properly. We should ask the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank where the money is and how is it being spent?”

As for the return of former dictator Jean-Claude (Papa Doc) Duvalier to Haiti in January 2011, Jean-Francois questions whether or not France, Canada and United States were “aware about the intention of Mr. Duvalier to travel to Haiti. This is simply not acceptable and they know it.”

The timing of Duvalier’s return after 25 years in exile in France has been met with skepticism by many Haitians.

Finally, even months after the Haitian disaster, says Saint-Vil, the psychological scars are visible on the faces of the people. “I went back there in March and April 2010 as a delegate of Akasan…I noticed how different it was for me and for other members of my family where we got there….Every time a car would pass our house and it would shake for me it would be normal but for those who lived through the earthquake, the shaking would elicit a different, fearful reaction.,” says Saint-Vil.

One year after Saint-Vil’s visit over one million Haitians are living in makeshift camps with poor security, sanitation, cholera and a lack of accessible education.

With only five per cent of the rubble cleared, a sham election and the return of Duvalier, one of the world’s cruelest dictators, Haitians are set to feel the aftershocks for many more months to come.


Dernière édition par jafrikayiti le Mar 17 Mai 2011 - 12:34, édité 5 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster   Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster EmptyMar 17 Mai 2011 - 12:14

The above article offers a clear exemple of why people need to take western media articles about Haiti with huge grains of salt. Often times the journalists do not do their jobs properly. Although the bulk of the article is accurate, there are some passages where bold inaccuracies destroy the value of the whole thing. It's unfortunate that they went to press without doing a proper verification of basic facts. And, although, I am quoted in the article (at least these quotes are fine !), I only found out that it had been published by accident, more than a month after the fact. I could have easily pointed to the the Magazine that René Préval was NOT a candidate in the 2010 election as is erroneously printed in the 6th paragraph which is severely botched.

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MessageSujet: Re: Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster   Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster EmptyMar 17 Mai 2011 - 12:18

jaf

You should not tell the truth on this forum ;the makouts will tell you to shut up because the truth offends them.
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MessageSujet: Re: Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster   Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster EmptyMar 17 Mai 2011 - 12:40

Wozo, mwen pa okipe moun deranje sa yo ki kwoke nan yon syèk ki depase depi dikdantan. Moun sa yo se nan Wodezi pou yo te viv, osnon kòm kòmandè sou plantasyon esklavajis. Libète jeneral pwoklame, yomenm yo vle kenbe ke jip mèt yo jouk yo rantre nan fon latè....poutan "mèt" la poutèt pa li, wont tande y ap rele li mèt toujou nan tan sa a. Men, tout sa se po kase, konsekans....e, se chak moun ki pou chwazi ki jan l ap jere konsekans sa yo. Mwenmenm gen jou mwne gen pasyans pou mwen kominike ak Uncle Tom, gen jou mwen panse li pi bon pou sante m, pou mwen okipe m de lòt bagay.

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MessageSujet: Re: Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster   Haiti: After the earthequake, the disaster EmptyMar 17 Mai 2011 - 13:13

Mon chè mwen pral pratike sa w di ya.se vre se nan Rhodesie pou yo te al viv, e se sa yo vle ki enplante an ayiti.
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