Where’s the money? Nearly 4 years after quake, Haitians still in tents

November 26, 2013PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Eight-year-old Widlene Gabriel has lived nearly half her life in a camp for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the devastating January 2010 earthquake in desperately poor Haiti. As the fourth anniversary of the disaster approaches, more than 170,000 Haitians are still living in makeshift housing, in extremely precarious conditions and sometimes facing eviction. Widlene and her family live in a tent on a private lot along a main road linking the capital Port-au-Prince to the eastern suburb of Petionville. The girl has never been to school and spends her days staring blankly at cars and trucks speeding along the road nearby. “On January 12, 2010, the roof of our house fell on top of our heads. I wasn’t hurt but our house fell apart and so we came here,” Widlene recalls, her bare feet covered in dust. Manette Nazius, a mother of six, says Widlene is hardly the only child seemingly left behind. “All the kids here are in the same boat. All days are the same. They drag around all day. In fact, we are living without hope and we all feel abandoned,” she says. An estimated 250,000 people were killed in the quake, and the rebuilding process has been slow in Haiti, which was already one of the world’s poorest countries when disaster struck. 
In the immediate aftermath, more than 1.5 million people were homeless. Huddled under Tent 15, which doubles as a church at the entrance of the camp, a small group of women chanted “Blessed be the lord. Blessed be the lord.” The pastor, in his 60s, stood at the entrance, but the faithful were few. “We still support them in prayer,” said the 60-something pastor, who gave his name as Pierre. “They are people who have been abandoned by the authorities. They have nothing. But God does not punish twice.” Nevertheless, the young and homeless say they are without hope and feel they have been forgotten. Since 2011, the government has been able to relocate more than 60,000 families and take back some of the public spaces occupied by the unsanitary camps. But about 172,000 people still live sprawled across 300 camps, according to the International Organization for Migration. Residents of the camp where Widlene lives say they have no alternatives, surviving thanks to odd jobs and whatever food scraps they can gather. 
“We live like brothers and sisters. We help each other out but we don’t expect anything from the government,” said Bladimir Eliancy, a 30-something resident who was trained as a mechanic. At another camp – a group of tents were set up on a property once owned by the Italian mission – the feeling of despair is the same. “We have been forgotten by the authorities and international organizations no longer visit us,” said a dejected Donald Duvert. “Sometimes, we get angry. But we are good citizens. We don’t go out into the streets to attack the rich. But just take a look at how we live,” he added, pointing to the dilapidated tents that house 150 families. Joseph Gino, seeking a bit of shade under a mango tree, echoed Duvert’s hopelessness. “Before, life was very difficult for us. Today, there is no life. Only God knows when we’ll get out of here – or maybe the decision-makers do,” he said. –Rappler
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9 Responses to Where’s the money? Nearly 4 years after quake, Haitians still in tents

  1. Irene C says:

    I have a friends who is a missionary in Haiti along with her husband. The government there is corrupt from what I’ve heard. Even the building supplies that were donated from their supportere were stolen. I’ve posted this article on my Facebook page so I’ll let you know if I get a first-hand account from her.


  2. J Gleason says:

    The money is where it always was and will be. With the government. This is what happens when the government is completely corrupt. Take a look. At our present course, we are headed in that direction.


  3. Rush Limburger says:

    I heard someone loudly and proudly claim that the United States was a ‘christian’ nation. Hmmm, guess they haven’t gotten around to sharing that with the Haitians yet.


    • maria says:

      USA a christian nation? Perhaps it once was, but it is not.

      No doubt were in time we are:

      and I saw, and lo, a pale horse, and he who is sitting upon him — his name is Death, and Hades doth follow with him, (Rev.6:8)

      The horse and the king of death, Denver Airport

      Anubis was associated with the mummification

      `And, as it came to pass in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man;(Luke17:26, Gen.6)
      Book of Jasher
      4:18 And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.

      Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal.

      I call heaven and Earth to record this day
      that I have set Beforeyou Life and Death, blessing and cursing,
      therefore choose Life (Deut.30:19)
      `Verily, verily, I say to you — He who is hearing my word, and is believing Him who sent me, hath life age-during, and to judgment he doth not come, but hath passed out of the death to the life.(John.5:24)


  4. Irene C says:

    Here is the comment that I received from my missionary friend in Haiti, She was there when the quake happened and is still there.

    “First the number of those killed was greatly exaggerated by the Haitian government to exceed the numbers of the tsunami; I was here when it struck and worked in hospitals and camps for months. There I questioned hundreds if not a thousand survivors, based on the answers I calculated fatalities at 80,000 (a generous number) and injuries with amputation at a possible 60,000. To understand what happened following the quake requires background on a primitive culture. Possibly more than 1/3 of PaP population are rural habitants who come to the capitol looking for schools and work, thus when the quake struck they evacuated back to their villages of origin. When the massive influx of NGOs arrived and supplied those living in parks with food, water, cash and medical, rural Haitians and some flooded into the camps waiting for a handout! Today it is impossible apart from interviewing and documenting every tent dwellers story to ascertain who has a home to go to and who does not. Acres of homes have been constructed outside of the city and remain uninhabited b/c they are simply too far from work and school! Also NGOs make their living, fund raise, off reports like this, so do not believe all that you read. We have some tent camps still but they are shrinking and disappearing quickly. It is not in the interest of the current gov who is rightly promoting Haiti as a tourist destination to allow the continued charity to tent dwellers.”

    I’m glad that she clarified this for me since my thinking was in error,


  5. Lucy says:

    Just before discovering your post here I got this email from a friend in Switzerland.


  6. Miriam says:

    The hundreds of millions of dollars have ‘disappeared’ into Developer pockets… buh bye to the fragile north side of Haiti; along the North coast where Bill Clinton and George HWBush visited ? 2 yrs ago to discuss the lucrative potential from excellent deep water port for ginormous tourist cruise ships & the off-shore deep water drilling platforms that will provide oil/gas wealth for backers. Exploitation on a massive scale. Free reign given to known scoundrel Asian factory owners – gifted w/megawatt power plant & hundreds of dwellings for (indentured) factory workers to make cheap sports clothes round the clock. Haiti the only successful revolution to throw off the chains of slavery fought against the French in the personage of Napolean’s army…it was never taught in American schools lest American slaves repeat their successful self liberation. Haiti kept in poverty for centuries after their “success” being required to pay France Billions in ‘Lost riches’…until Aristide said “No more Haitian reparations to the French” after bleeding $21Billion to them. Now, Haiti exploited again…forgotten again.
    HAITI indeed has been forgotten by the millions of good intentioned citizens around the globe but not by the corporate vultures who have always wanted to further exploit the Haitians. Given the tourism ‘plans’, the manufacturing plant that now sits atop their vulnerable aquifer —there are Potemkin like villages for the round the clock factory workers..videos are available if you search…


  7. tonic says:

    It’s sitting in the pockets of greed. However, God has ways of evening out all injustice and will even up this score. And the sooner the better.


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