Thursday, March 18, 2010

TENT CITIES















Perhaps the most impressionable moments and haunting memories for those who come to Haiti are the hundreds of tent cities in and around Port au Prince. They began to spring up within days of the Jan. 12th quake. The one in the picture was started about 3 weeks ago about 10 miles outside of port on the slopes of a small mountain range. The rumor is that the Haitian government will give land here and build houses to relocate those who lost their homes.

Though the shelters in this city are mostly tarps there are very few tents, life is tough. There is no readily available drinking water, poor sanitation, no shade and inadequate shelter from the rains that will start coming next month. This of course is the same story repeated most every time disasters hit Third World countries around the world. The news people have left to go somewhere else seeking a fresh story, eventually many of the NGO's will pull out as funding is for the Haiti relief stops and another new disaster springs up and funds and human resources go there. In the end as in the beginning the work is left in the hands of the NGO's who were on the ground before the quake. Those individuals and their organizations that have made a commitment to the Haitian people to make a difference will continue the rebuilding in the years ahead. As one of those individuals who has been committed for eleven years and also one who heads up an organization that started here in 1967 I'm looking at how Project Help-Haiti can be most most effective in the years ahead.

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