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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Fishermen Protest as Deadly Red Tide Blooms in Southern Chile

    The red tide - an algal bloom - is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile, though the extent of the current outbreak is unprecedented

    Reports: Brazil's Rousseff Faces Additional Investigation

    The investigation is reported to be centered on wiretapped phone calls between Rousseff and her predecessor

    Zika Outbreaks Expected in Large Portion of Americas

    Doctors involved in public health say getting across the message that a mild disease could be devastating to unborn babies is challenging

    Kerry: Countries with No Free Press Have Nothing to Brag About

    ‘No government ... can fairly claim respect if its citizens are not allowed to say what they believe,’ US Secretary of State said in recognition of World Press Freedom Day

    Olympic Flame in Brazil for a 90-Day Relay

    Flame has arrived in Brazil’s capital for 90-day relay around the country before reaching the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for opening of Games on August 5

    Ex-Mexican Foreign Minister Nominated as UN Climate Chief

    Patricia Espinosa, who works as Mexico's ambassador to Germany, won high marks for presiding at annual UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010 when she was foreign minister