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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Brazil Presidential Race Gets One More Candidate

Environmentalist Marina Silva to join contest for Socialist Party candidate; vote to be held October 5
More

Guatemalan General Killed in Copter Crash Near Mexico Border

General Rudy Ortiz was among five people killed; cause under investigation; weather said to have been possible factor
More

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month
More

Pope's Relatives Killed in Argentina Car Crash

Family of pontiff's nephew killed after car plows into truck
More

Ex-Guatemalan Drug Kingpin Pleads Guilty to US Charges

Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, linked by authorities to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import more than 450 kilograms of Colombian cocaine into US
More

Landmark Brazil Poll Brings Good News for Rousseff

Facing tough road to re-election, Rousseff has seen sharp recovery in approval ratings, voter support
More