News / Americas

Haitian City of Gonaives Struggles to Help Port-au-Prince Residents

Multimedia

Audio

Hundreds of thousands of people fled the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince after the city was devastated by an earthquake nearly one month ago.  At least 35,000 headed north to the town of Gonaives.  The newcomers have been welcomed, but the influx is taking a toll on the city, which is still recovering from destructive hurricanes.

Gonaives, a three-hour drive north of Port-au-Prince, is important in Haitian history.  It is the place where the nation declared its independence from France in 1804.

Although the city of 300,000 escaped the earthquake, it has faced repeated disasters.  In 2004 and 2008, thousands died in Gonaives when their homes were flooded during hurricanes.  The economy has not yet recovered.

Still, Gonaives Deputy Mayor Jean Francois Adolphe says that after the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Gonaives officials wanted to help, and went there to arrange an evacuation.

He says many people from Gonaives and surrounding areas who live in Port-au-Prince were brought out.  He holds up a chart that details the evacuation plan.

Many who were injured, including thousands with no ties to this area, also came for medical treatment, food and other help.  Most are staying with local families.  Others are hospitalized.

Adeclef Woodly, a doctor at the local hospital, is a Haitian who was trained in Cuba.  He says his hospital receives patients with the most serious injuries who need orthopedic care, patients who need amputations of arms or hands, or who have hip injuries with multiple fractures.

Nineteen-year-old patient Logista Floxene was brought here by family members from Port-au-Prince. She says she lost one leg and the other is broken.  It happened after concrete collapsed on her.

International aid groups, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and World Food Program, are providing assistance.

But business owner Joseph Mathiado-Gustave says most of the help comes from local people.

He says we, the people of Gonaives, are the ones that are helping the people from other places with everything from food to health care until they can get back to their own towns.

Some people in Gonaives are able to earn an income.  A fisherman at the beach prepares a net to get ready for the day's catch.  Street vendors sell their wares across from city hall.  A cyber café is up and running, and several young men are surfing the web on laptop computers.  But others, like Klebert Celestin, are living hand to mouth and are out of work.

"I don't have no job right now.  I don't have no job," said Celestin.
 
Haitian Senator Youri Latortue, who represents this region, wants a plan to decentralize Haiti's government and business, and to move many people outside Port-au-Prince

"We can't rebuild on the same place," he said. "The government and the parliament and the civil society have to look for a new plan and ask the international community to build a new fund able to finance the new plan."

Thousands of earthquake victims still lie beneath the rubble in Port-au-Prince.  And Haitians are still burying their dead.  A funeral procession makes its way along the highway to Gonaives.  And as victims recover, they say they are looking for help in rebuilding their country. 

 

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

Floods Death Toll Rises in Chile, President Cancels Trips

Freak torrential downpours in Atacama desert, normally the driest in the world, destroyed homes and bridges, cut off roads, and left thousands stranded
More

Rio Residents Protest Olympic Eviction With Road Block

Cars gridlocked for at least five kilometers in southern neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca as residents rally against demolition of favela
More

Peru's PM, Government to Resign After Censure Vote

Move delivers a blow to President Ollanta Humala, who will now have to form another new government
More

Argentine Workers Strike Over Income Tax Rate

With economy already weak, public transport stops, many businesses close and garbage piles up on one-day walkout
More

Tickets Go on Sale for 2016 Rio Olympics

More than half of the 7.5 million tickets will cost 70 Brazilian reais ($22) or less
More

US, Cuba Hold First Formal Talks on Human Rights

Issue contentious for conservative Republicans as President Barack Obama seeks to restore diplomatic ties
More