News / Americas

Haitian Government Working to Move Camps Before Rainy Season

The rainy season in Haiti begins shortly and the government is rushing to complete a new camp for those left homeless by the earthquake

Sylva Louis has lived in the sprawling refugee camp of Champs de Mars in downtown Port au Prince, Haiti's capital, since the January 12 earthquake (file photo)
Sylva Louis has lived in the sprawling refugee camp of Champs de Mars in downtown Port au Prince, Haiti's capital, since the January 12 earthquake (file photo)
Jeff Swicord

Haiti's rainy season begins in the next few weeks and government officials are working to get victims of the January earthquake into better shelters.  A top priority is to move the people living in the park known as Champs de Mars located across from the destroyed presidential palace. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports from Port Au Prince, the government is putting the finishing touches on a more permanent camp outside the city center.

Sylva Louis has lived in the sprawling refugee camp of Champs de Mars in downtown Port au Prince since the earthquake on January 12.  The Government has made it a priority to move residents before the rainy season begins in a few weeks.  And many like Sylva are uneasy.

"I am not working, the country is messed up. Now you are telling me you want to send me somewhere were I don't know nobody.  How am I going to live?  How am I going to survive? At least right here I know these people.  I might be able to get a plate of food from one of them," Louis said.

Champs de Mars has undergone a transformation since the earthquake.  Two months ago, people were living out in the open or under tents made of blankets and sheets.  Now many have spent as much as a year's salary building structures of wood and tin. And businesses like this bar and music store have opened up.

The government says they cannot stay here, and recently offered residents five options, ranging from returning to their old home to moving to a government built camp like this one outside the city center.

Workers were busy finishing the toilet and shower facilities when we visited.  It will house 8,000 people in tents.  Fifty security guards will be on duty around the clock.  There are plans for basketball courts and a football field.  And a well for water was recently drilled.  Seventy percent of the residents are expected to come from Champs de Mars.

Most of the Champs de Mars residents we talked to were willing to move.  Twenty-six year-old Louis Jacques Franto told us if the government wants to move us that is fine, as long as it is safe.

Jeanne Baptiste Barthelmy says she would like to have a better shelter.  The plastic tarp that serves as the roof of her house fills with water when it rains.   The pools become a breeding ground for mosquitos.

But her mother who lives nearby is sick.  And she is worried she will not be able to visit as often if she is housed far away.

The government will begin moving people out of Champs de Mars in the next few weeks.  Hopefully, the rains will hold off until then.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100B in 2002 warned that time running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More