Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads), a team of alternative Haitian journalists, have just released a powerful new video series called “Inside the Camps“, looking into the lives of internally displaced people living in Haiti’s camps for thirty-two months. They include interviews with mothers and images from inside the camps on the morning after Tropical Storm Isaac passed through in August 2012. Here is one of the interviews:
Nearly 400,000 people are still living in tents 32 months after the January 12, 2010 earthquake and apparently these homeless families are not a priority for the Haitian government and the ninternational community.
Despite the government’s efforts to remove the internally displaced people in the most visible camps around the capital with inadequate resources, there is no indication of a long-term plan.
When Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti there was great material destruction and twenty-four people were killed. It created problems on top of problems for people living under tents. Several mothers explained to our team how they spent the night when the storm passed, trying to remove water from their tents, unable to sleep at all.
It is clear that in the camps, the lives of homeless earthquake victims grow more precarious with each heavy rain. In order to protect their families, many people have added solid building materials to their tarps/tents and this is transforming the camps into permanent communities.
The silence about the situation of the people in the camps after Tropical Storm Isaac is disturbing. The hurricane season won’t be over until November, and the silence about people in camps could have several interpretations.
The political crisis and the economic situation in the country is very complicated, and in the last few months many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have abandoned the camps after disbursing the majority of their funds in a variety of programs that didn’t create sustainable solutions, and now the efforts that existed to help people living in tents are diminishing. The homeless families in the camps are most visible in the discourse of those impatiently waiting for them to leave the camps.
Just as always happens after a heavy rain, Isaac increased the chances of the spread of cholera, especially in the camps where the situation of sanitation is continuing to deteriorate.