Haiti. 10 months later
These are dark days in Haiti, darker than ever. Ten months after the earthquake that ravaged this already beleaguered country, killing 250 000 people and leaving more than one million homeless. How were things moving forward, what had changed, and what is the long-term impact of the devastating quake? Ten months later there is little evidence of progress but the country is living in fear.
The millions of families who lost everything and set up camp in precarious shelters, tents, tarps, or wherever they could find a bit of room? They have not moved. Ten months later in the very centre of town, directly across from the Presidential palace, the view is unchanged. Two thousand families are living in a permanent state of insecurity and without basic supplies, water, or electricity. And everywhere, on every public square and every vacant lot, the encampments appear to be there to stay. Hope has given way to frustration. No one believes in the promise of change any more.
And then there is fear: fear of a little-known sickness, a bacteria able to kill in four short hours. A bacteria no one had ever heard of. The disease is easily treated – but without sufficient resources the dead are counted by the thousand. All in a state of confusion: so little is known about this disease.
After January 12, everyone was a victim; everyone suffered in the same way. Rich and poor alike were affected and the shock was evenly distributed. With the passing of time and the stagnation of living conditions, this solidarity has given way to divisions. Then came the election campaign. The results of the first round of voting surprised everyone. People felt a great need for justice.
The coming weeks will be crucial for this country that so desperately needs calm. But the crisis the elections set off is the last straw. The donkey’s back is breaking.
Renaud Philippe / Stigmat Photo