News / Americas

Residents of Port-au-Prince Slum Say Aid Slow in Coming

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

As international aid continues to flow into Haiti, residents of the Port-au-Prince slum of Cite Soleil say they are still waiting for tents and other essentials more than three weeks after a devastating earthquake.

Cleanup has begun in parts of Port-au-Prince, funded by international aid groups.  

One group of nine workers, paid with U.S. development funds, is clearing the rubble of a collapsed house.  Other workers are doing the same in scattered sections of the city.

The United Nations and private aid organizations are providing tents, as well as food, in many neighborhoods.


But in the impoverished area of Cite Soleil, people make do with what they have, receiving occasional help from groups like Doctors Without Borders. Aid workers assess the needs of residents, filling out questionnaires.

Michelle Williame, like many of her neighbors, tells them she has been living outdoors since her house was destroyed in the earthquake. "Life is terrible for us right now.  Not only are we sleeping on the street, but also the government has not taken any steps to help the people of Cite Soleil.  No government social workers have shown up so far.  You have many kids and you have no place to accommodate them," she said.

With schools closed, children are doing what they can to pass the time.  Two play soccer in an open area.   Four children are playing cards under the shade of an aid truck, and one 10-year-old explains why he is here with his family.…"because the house is no good.  It's cracked, so we have to sleep outdoors."

Some help is arriving.  Doctors Without Borders is getting water to residents, says Maurice Noel, who drives the truck that brings the water supplies to the people. "They are very grateful, but they all need food and tents and a place to stay," he said.

Most families have lost their incomes.  Bricklayer Claude Estalien believes the area is ignored in the relief effort because residents were blamed for looting in other parts of the city after the earthquake. "In Cite Soleil, there are many people that do bad things, but at the same time, there are good people in Cite Soleil too," he said.

Women say they are having trouble finding the food to feed their children.  That is the complaint of an 18-year-old mother with a one-year-old child. "I used to struggle to feed the child.  Before the earthquake, I used to go out on the street and sell oranges.  Now, I don't have any money.  I just have to remain here with the child," she said.

Some here are coping with injuries as well as shock and grief. Sterline Charles was hurt as her house collapsed in the earthquake, and she lost half of her family. "I have six kids.  I lost three of them and lost their father also.  On top of it all, my foot was broken," she said.

The people of Cite Soleil say they need tents, food, medicine and other essential supplies.  They worry especially about the children, their schools closed for now and many of them living in makeshift camps.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also called for an end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians
More

Audit Finds US Housing Aid Program in Haiti Falls Short

Results show post-earthquake USAID program has delivered only a quarter of planned number of homes at nearly twice the budgeted cost
More

Mourning, Memories in Garcia Marquez's Languid Hometown

Nobel Prize-winning author's early years in Aracataca inspired characters, tales for major novel
More

Powerful Earthquake Rattles Mexico

US Geological Survey says quake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale, was centered in the western state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco beach resort
More

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support
More

Colombian Novelist Garcia Marquez Dies at 87

Author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982
More