Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notes on the Election

This commentary comes from a well respected journalist and author who has been monitoring Haiti for years.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Notes from the field in Haiti

This provided by a medical worker

Notes From The EpiCenter: We Are Out Of... Everything
I am sad to report that things have worsened significantly and in 3 camps (St. Marc being the hardest hit that I have seen yet) have 76 known cholera deaths and 1,709 confirmed cases. The death toll of 76, I received yesterday from [REDACTED] was the count over approximately (the last) ten days in one camp. There are many more deaths from other camps and although some of us traveling to the rural areas are trying to remain in contact, it is nearly impossible. We are out of ORS - oral rehydration solution, pedialyte, IV fluids and tubing -- everything. The situation in the tent camps/cities is already full of unspeakable horrors and now for those with cholera the sight is just gruesome.

The rural camps, hardest hit by cholera are in the worst situation because there is NO relief aid presence and no UN presence. During this last trip it would take almost 5 hours to drive from St. Marc back to Port au Prince to try and secure supplies. We are purchasing ORS, water, and pedialyte (now absent from stores because we are buying so much of it). [REDACTED] gave me 10 cases of pedialyte and some other supplies, which is all they could afford because they feared an outbreak in Port au Prince. Finally, after running out of medications, fluids, etc. and being turned away from most all sources for medical supplies, including the UN, there was no way to help those suffering from cholera. It was simply too difficult to watch another baby die of dehydration and I came home to recover from the worst week I'd experienced in Haiti since the earthquake.

I cannot begin to explain how much worse the situation is in Haiti and how there is very little coordination of any relief aid or the NGO's. The following is the mission statement of the UN for its mission in Haiti. It is not being carried out now during this cholera outbreak and has not been carried out since the earthquake, which is more than a failure to the Haitian people.

"The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors."

I have shared all my findings with the CDC in order to give them as much data as I can gather for their investigators. I have also given our findings to the MOH and OCHA - mainly for informational purposes because I've given up the hope of obtaining necessary supplies. I wish the news was better and sadly the deaths will continue because there is little to no support available for those providers in rural areas. There is very little available in the way of supplies even in the larger cities now facing patients with cholera. I am contacting organizations here at home to try and get the ORS, which comes in small packets, donated so I can take it back on my next trip.

Again, for everyone attending today's demonstration - thank you and it is with much appreciation that people are standing up to demand accountability for Haiti. There are not words in any language to describe life for her people or the heart wrenching feeling watching them die of neglect and indifference. It is why I continue asking the question, "When does indifference become a crime against humanity."

I will be attending the January 8th demonstration and sadly, I do not expect to have better news - I expect it will continue to worsen. Please know that I have spoken with [REDACTED] and several of my friends, this morning to tell them about your demonstration - and they send their love, appreciation, and prayers to each of you on behalf of the Haitian people.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

UN source of Cholera?

Cholera outbreak UN responsability?

Cholera is excreted in the feces and vomit. The contagion can be found in feces for up to 50 days, on glass for up to a month, on coins for a week, in soil or dust for up to 16 days, and on fingertips for 1 to 2 hours

That is the bad news.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Protests across Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Nov 16, 2010 (IPS) – “People are going to take the body to MINUSTAH to show them what they did,” Jean-Luc Surfin told IPS by phone as riots erupted against Haiti’s U.N. peacekeeping force on Monday in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.

Surfin, a 24-year-old bank teller, said he walked by a young man lying dead in the street blocks away from his home, who bystanders said was shot by peacekeeping troops.

At least two protesters have been reported killed, one shot in the back, a local official told the media. U.N. troops say they acted in self-defence.

“I think the people are frustrated right now. That’s why they’re all over the street. They say they’re going to fight to the death,” Surfin told IPS.

He said demonstrators erected barricades in the street and pelted troops with stones and bottles. Two police stations were set on fire.

Protests were reported in the cities of Hinche and Gonaives in Haiti’s cholera-ravaged central region as well. Radio Levekanpe in Hinche reported that protesters tried to leave the coffin of a man who died of cholera in front of the city’s UN peacekeeping base.

Demonstrators blame foreign peacekeepers for introducing the infectious disease into the country. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says the strain of cholera bacteria spreading in Haiti matches the one endemic in South Asia.

An estimated 200,000 people could be sickened before the epidemic is brought under control, an effort that could take up to six months.

The outbreak has killed over 900 people, just two weeks before scheduled elections.

“It’s a tradition in Haiti to have violence before the elections,” MINUSTAH spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese told IPS. “People are confused, scared, and I think at this time people can be manipulated in one direction or another.”

“Basically MINUSTAH and cholera are in politics now, it’s being exploited,” he said, but declined to name any individual or group responsible.

“Someone is behind it. The population doesn’t have the means to communicate with each other and set up something this way. There’s someone behind this to motivate people to do this. Clearly, it’s part of a plan,” Pugliese said.

Anger at U.N. troops has simmered and boiled over into protests several times since the body of teenaged Gerard Jean Gilles was found hanging from a tree inside a Cap-Haitien peacekeeping base in late August.

Days later, a peacekeeping patrol responded with tear gas after being bombarded with stones. One soldier was injured, according to an internal U.N. report.

Seventeen civil society organisations authored an open letter to the head of MINUSTAH requesting an independent inquiry and condemning what they called “your decision to obstruct Haitian justice in this case”.

MINUSTAH spokesperson Pugliese told IPS the peacekeeping force’s internal investigation found that Gilles committed suicide.

In the middle of a street in Champs de Mars, the faint smell of burnt rubber wafted from the charred remains of two tires. Students at the Faculty of Ethnology said they burned the tires and threw rocks at UN vehicles in a solidarity protest.

IPS reported in May that peacekeeping troops responded to student protests with warning shots, rubber bullets, and over 30 canisters of tear gas that caused injuries in the tent camps in the plaza.

But this time, according to students, the peacekeeping patrol “took off.” Pugliese said he could neither confirm nor deny.

Students said more protests against UN peacekeepers are being planned for the near future.

“We protested for the same reason that people in Cap [Haitien] and Hinche are protesting. They say MINUSTAH are the ones who gave us cholera. It’s the government that’s irresponsible,” Lucien Joseph told IPS.

“Until now so many people have died. There’s been no serious response… All of them, the whole country, is going to stand up and demand MINUSTAH leave,” he said.

-- Ansel Herz, journalist
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
+509 3607 3401

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tomas hits Haiti

Hurricane adds to Haiti¹s woes, 4 dead in floods
Associated Press, By JONATHAN M. KATZ, November 6, 2010 12:48

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ‹ Hurricane Tomas flooded camps of earthquake
refugees, turning some into squalid islands Friday as it battered Haiti¹s
rural western tip, while largely sparing the vast homeless encampments in
the shattered capital.

Aid workers rushed to guard against the spread of disease as the storm moved
into the region where thousands are infected with cholera.

Driving 85 mph winds and a lashing storm surge battered Leogane, a seaside
town west of Port-au-Prince that was 90 percent destroyed in the Jan. 12

In one refugee camp, dozens of families carried their belongings through
thigh-high floodwaters to a taxi stand on higher ground, huddling under
blankets and a sign that read ³Welcome to Leogane.²

³We got flooded out and we¹re just waiting for the storm to pass. There¹s
nothing we can do,² said Johnny Joseph, a 20-year-old resident.

Four deaths were confirmed by Haitian officials, all people attempting to
cross rivers by car or on foot in the mountainous region to the west of
Leogane, on Haiti¹s far southwestern tip. Two more people were missing in

Tomas had earlier killed at least 14 people in the eastern Caribbean. On
Friday it came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane, pummeling Haiti¹s southern
peninsula, before moving on to the rest of the country, eastern Cuba and the

It could be days before the storm¹s impact is known as reports filter in
from isolated mountain towns cut off by the flooding. But as officials took
stock and aid workers rushed to contain flood damage and the widening
cholera epidemic, the storm left harsh reminders of poverty¹s toll on the
Caribbean nation.

³We have two catastrophes that we are managing. The first is the hurricane
and the second is cholera,² President Rene Preval told the nation in a
television and radio address.

He could have included a third. Ten months after the magnitude-7 earthquake
shook the capital to the ground, the devastation can still be seen in scores
of collapsed buildings and sprawling refugee camps.

The disasters mingled in Leogane, where milky brown floodwaters filled
quake-cracked streets and cut off a camp that was home to hundreds of

³We have an assessment team there now and there¹s a couple towns that have
been damaged from some flooding and some wind damage,² said Steve McAndrew,
head of operations for the American Red Cross.

The storm¹s center was about 140 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, where a
thick gray canopy of clouds hung over the capital and a steady downpour
turned streets into flowing canals that carried garbage through the city.

Haitian authorities had urged the 1.3 million Haitians left homeless by the
earthquake to leave the camps and go to the homes of friends and family.
Buses were sent to take those who wanted to evacuate to shelters.

But many chose to stay, fearing they would come back to find that they had
been evicted from the private land where they have been camped out since the
quake, living in donated plastic tarps, or that their few possessions would
be stolen before they returned.

A near-riot broke out amid a poorly coordinated relocation effort at the
government¹s flagship camp at Corail-Cesselesse when residents began
overturning tables and throwing bottles to protest what they saw as a forced

Cholera and the elections


Cholera spreading, affecting election campaigns in Haiti
The Miami Herald, JACQUELINE CHARLES/MIAMI HERALD STAFF Posted on Wednesday,

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- First presidential hopeful Michel `Sweet Micky'
Martelly asked for a dayslong campaign truce. Then, opponent Jude Célestin
announced that he was temporarily suspending all radio and TV ads, and
called on his opponents to follow.

Now, Leslie Voltaire is asking to postpone the Nov. 28 election.

A deadly outbreak of cholera in an already earthquake-wracked Haiti has
become one more complication in a nation still grappling with the effects of
the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake that left an estimated 300,000 Haitians
dead and at least 1.5 million Haitians living underneath tents and tarps.

As campaign jingles continue to play on local radios and three presidential
candidates taped a televised debate Wednesday morning, Haiti health
officials reported that after days of successfully containing the epidemic
to the rural valley where it first broke last week, cholera had finally

Officials said 174 cases had been confirmed in the city of Arcahia, a
small rural village 20 miles north of Port-au-Prince. There were also
suspected cases in nearby Cabaret, and they were investigating reports in
Cité Soleil, a slum in the capital not far from the main international

The waterborne bacterial infection had killed 303 Haitians, including
five in Arcahia, and hospitalized 4,722 Haitians, the government said late

``It's encroaching, and we are taking measures,'' said Dr. Ariel Henry,
the chief of cabinet for the Ministry of Health. ``We are training people on
the ground to give out oral rehydration salts. We are putting in place
cholera treatment centers. We are also doing a big effort all over the
country with 50,000 people. We are training them, and we are preparing to
deploy them.''

The health ministry has not asked for a delay of the vote, but it has
asked candidates to refrain from holding rallies in cholera-affected
communities. For some like Voltaire, an urban planner who is among the 19
presidential candidates seeking to replace President René Préval, that is
not good enough.

``The vote should happen when the World Health Organization says it is
contained, or when the [Provisional Electoral Council] says this election
will not use rallies,'' Voltaire said.

So far, neither the WHO, which is working alongside Haitian health
officials to contain the epidemic, nor the electoral council charged with
putting on the elections has called for a postponement out of public health

Gaillot Dorsinvil, president of the council, told The Miami Herald the
fate of the elections is up to the government, and as far as the council was
concern, the vote was moving ahead as scheduled.

That message was reiterated Wednesday in Washington when the diplomat
leading a joint Organization of American States/Caribbean Community
observation mission reported that ``the electoral process is progressing
steadily toward 28 November.''

``The political environment is more reassuring with the increasing
participation of parties, political platforms and candidates who initially
intended to boycott the elections,'' said Colin Granderson, who is also the
assistant secretary general of CARICOM.

Still, Granderson conceded that the evolution of the cholera outbreak and
its potential impact on the process remain a concern.

Célestin, who participated in the televised debate Wednesday in which the
question of cholera was raised but not possible postponement of the
elections, said he's not seeking a delay.

Rather, he believes that Haitians should not have their attentions
divided while the government and international humanitarian community scale
up a massive prevention and public education campaign, alerting Haitians on
how they can save themselves from a disease that kills within hours when not
treated in time.

``The population should not have to listen to campaign jingles while
people are dying,'' said Célestin, tapped by Préval to succeed him. ``To see
candidates put posters in a hospital in Mirebalais where people are dying,
it's sad.''

Martelly also complained about how some candidates are trying to
politicize the epidemic to their benefit, wearing campaign T-shirts and
vehicles as they visit the sick. He's disappointed, he said, that his
request has fallen on deaf ears.

``We need to start working together even though we may be different
candidates,'' he said. ``At the end of the day, Haiti must be the

Not everyone favors a pause. Lawyer Jean-Henry Céant, who debated Célestin,
said the elections should continue as planned. Sen. Youri Latortue, whose
coalition is supporting longtime opposition leader Mirlande Manigat, also
wants to see the schedule maintain. Manigat had a slight lead over Célestin
in a recent poll.

``We are entering into this election under difficult circumstances, but
we cannot leave the country without a government,'' said Latortue, who on
Tuesday summoned the health minister to a session to get a report on the
government's efforts. ``We have a lot of problems to resolve. We already do
not have any money. Each time you postpone the date that is money.''

Observers say even if no decision is taken on the election, how the
government handles the outbreak could influence the outcome of the vote in
what is emerging as a competitive race. Though Célestin is neck-and-neck
with Manigat in the most recent poll, he is trailing in a number of
quake-battered cities, including the capital where observers say he's being
hurt by the government's often-criticized handling of the quake response.

``If the management of the outbreak is not well-handled, it may
jeopardize the government's image or any one associated with the actual
management and government,'' said Gregory Brandt, president of the
Haiti-French Chamber of Commerce.

Rosny Desroche said he doesn't see how the government can escape

"People are suffering. Either way, the government will be held
responsible,'' he said.

But Reginald Boulos, the chairman of the Economic Forum of the Private
Sector, which commissioned the poll, said cholera could also be a chance for
the Préval government to redeem itself.

``The earthquake was a negative for the government because they didn't
react appropriately,'' he said. ``It could turn out to be a positive thing
if they manage it well; if they show leadership, and compassion in the
people. Or it can be a downfall for them if again there is lack of
coordination and waste of money, and people are dying.''

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tears, please

I myself am out of tears

I would appreciate the tears of others

As I believe that they cleanse the wounds

see here

Report on Tomas

Associated Press
Hurricane Tomas floods quake-shattered town
By JACOB KUSHNER , 11.05.10, 11:11 AM EDT

LEOGANE, Haiti -- Hurricane Tomas flooded the earthquake-shattered remains of a Haitian town on Friday, forcing families who had already lost their homes in one disaster to flee another. In the country's capital, quake refugees resisted calls to abandon flimsy tarp and tent camps.

Driving winds and storm surge battered Leogane, a seaside town west of Port-au-Prince that was near the epicenter of the Jan. 12 earthquake and was 90 percent destroyed. Dozens of families in one earthquake-refuge camp took their belongings through thigh-high water to a taxi post on high ground, waiting out the rest of the storm under blankets and a sign that read "Welcome to Leogane."

"We got flooded out and we're just waiting for the storm to pass. There's nothing we can do," said Johnny Joseph, a 20-year-old resident.

The growing hurricane with 85 mph (140 kph) winds, was battering the western tip of Haiti's southern peninsula and the cities of Jeremie and Les Cayes.

One man drowned while trying to ford a river in an SUV in the rural area of Grand-Anse, said civil protection official Pierre Andre. The hurricane had earlier killed at least 14 people in the eastern Caribbean.

The center of the storm was about 140 miles (230 kilometers) west of from Port-au-Prince, draping charcoal clouds over the city. Steady rain turned the streets of the capital into flowing canals that carried garbage through the city. Farther north in Gonaives, a coastal city twice inundated by recent tropical storms, police evacuated more than 200 inmates from one prison to another.

Aid workers are concerned the storm will worsen Haiti's cholera epidemic, which has killed more than 440 people and hospitalized more than 6,700 others.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted dangerous storm surges along the coast and possible flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas.

Haiti's civil protection department had urged people living in camps for the 1.3 million Haitians made homeless by the Jan. 12 earthquake to go to the homes of friends and family.

By evening it was clear most camp residents were not heeding the advice. People in the yard of a high school on the Delmas 33 thoroughfare in Port-au-Prince said their camp's governing committee had passed along the official advice to leave, but they decided to stockpile water and tie down their tents instead.

Buses began circulating around the camps just after dark Thursday night to take residents away, but few were willing to go. Four civil protection buses that pulled up at a camp in the Canape-Vert district left with about five passengers on them.

Many camp residents stayed put out of fear they would lose their few possessions and, worse, be denied permission to return when the storm was over.

"I'm scared that if I leave they'll tear this whole place down. I don't have money to pay for a home somewhere else," said Clarice Napoux, 21, who lives with her boyfriend on a soccer field behind the St. Therese church in Petionville. They lost their house to the quake and their only income is the little she makes selling uncooked rice, beans and dry goods.

Late Thursday, Tomas passed to the east of Jamaica, where schools remained closed and public transportation was stalled on Friday as the island struggled with widespread flooding from a previous storm.

Patrice Edmond, a maid who caught a ride into Kingston, said buses were not operating.

"I barely got a drive to come over, but I'm a determined person," she said.

Tomas was expected to advance on through the strait that divides Haiti from Cuba.

Ninety miles (150 kilometers) northwest of the storm's eye at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in southeastern Cuba, the military cleared away any debris that could fly off in strong winds, suspended flights, canceled school and closed the harbor to recreational craft.

Tomas was moving to the north-northeast at about 12 mph (19 kph) and tropical-storm-force winds extended as far as 140 miles (220 kilometers) from the center.

Forecasters warned of a dangerous storm surge that would generate "large and destructive waves" and raise water levels up to 3 feet (nearly 1 meter) above normal tide levels. It also predicted rainfall of 5 to 10 inches (12 to 25 centimeters) for much of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola.

Port-au-Prince's airport was expected to be closed through Friday, American Airlines ( AMR - news - people ) spokeswoman Mary Sanderson said.

Most of Haiti's post-quake homeless live under donated plastic tarps on open fields. It is often private land, where they have been constantly fighting eviction. A September report from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 29 percent of 1,268 camps studied had been closed forcibly, meaning the often violent relocation of tens of thousands of people.

Haitian human-rights lawyer Mario Joseph, who testified on behalf of those evicted before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights this summer, said he fears the government is using the storm as an excuse to drive people off disputed land.

"I think it's going to be a time of eviction," he said. He said he has advised people who know they are at risk for floods, landslides and wind damage to stay in buildings near the camp and return to their squatters' sites as soon as possible after the storm.

Reconstruction has barely begun and even the building of transitional shelters - sturdier than makeshift tents, but not solid houses - has been slow. Large installments of long-term funds, including a promised $1.15 billion from the United States, have not arrived. The State Department now says it still has to prove the money won't be stolen or misused.

As rebuilding lags, the United Nations and aid groups have been giving people reasons to stay in camps, providing aid and essential services such as medicine. That continued Thursday as residents reluctant to leave were given reinforcing tarps and other materials.

"We have always said that the best way to protect people in camps is to make camps as resistant as possible to any weather," said Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "(Evacuation) doesn't make sense ... on a practical level, on a large scale."

Residents of the nearly 8,000-person government relocation camp at Corail-Cesselesse threw bottles at aid workers trying to get them to leave their ShelterBox tents for schools, churches and an abandoned prison nearby.

"If we go away, other people are going to move in our place! We want to stay here because we don't have another place to go," said 29-year-old Roland Jean.

The camp's grounds were designed by U.S. military engineers and graded by the United Nations. But the selection of the site has been criticized by aid groups: The desert plain nine miles (15 kilometers) north of the city constantly floods and suffers wind damage.

Camp officials finally resolved the dispute and several hundred people left Thursday afternoon on trucks provided by U.N. peacekeepers. An AP reporter found that while the school, church and abandoned hospital chosen as shelters for them were large and undamaged, they had no water or usable toilets.

Tomas killed at least 14 people when it slammed the eastern Caribbean country of St. Lucia as a hurricane Saturday. It will cost roughly $500 million to repair flattened banana fields, destroyed houses, broken bridges and eroded beaches on the island, according to Prime Minister Stephenson King.

A hurricane warning was issued for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, on the storm's path once it emerges from the strait between Haiti and Cuba.

In Little Inagua Island, the owners of the island's only grocery store brought in extra supplies this week to ensure no one would be short of food or plywood.

"It was a mad rush," said Father Glover, 27, a priest at St. Philips' Anglican Church in Matthew Town, the island's only settlement. "A lot of people have been battering down the hatches and securing their homes."

The airport in Turks and Caicos closed on Friday as tourists walked outside and observed the gathering storm clouds.

"It's a shame that we can't enjoy the stuff that we came here to do, but we are still going to stay," said Shelly Schulz, 37, of New York state, who arrived four days ago with her husband and three children.

Associated Press television producer Chris Gillette in Croix-des-Bouquets, writers Jonathan M. Katz and Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Megan Reynolds in Nassau, Bahamas, Howard Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica, Vivian Tyson in Turks and Caicos Islands contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Words of Wisdom

This posted on DR1.com, the English message board for the Dominican Republic, by Mike Fisher, a German charter sport fishing boat captain, who works out of Punta Cana. Mike is our resident weather expert. He writes here in English, which is his third language.

as Sad as that Outlook looks like,
and Yes, it is really as said as it looks,
it is also since many years nothing New, been that far before Tomas, far before the september Storm, far before the Quake.
let's face the Facts:
last Month People Died in haiti due ""Floodings"" of a simple average October Rain, no Storm, no out of the ordinary weather, no Quake, simple Rain, and sorrily that is a monthly ocurrance all around the Year.
the Country is in Need to changes things with or without help from the outside since a Hundred Years, many Billions of Aid flew down the haitian Rivers since then.
the Result:
in 1979 Cat3 Hurricane David blew over the Island without taking reported Lifes there, haiti still had 25% of It's Forrestation alive.
just 25 years later, in 2004, by then only 1.4% of Haiti's Forrestation alive, barely a Treecrowd to spot on a Sat Shot, the weak Tropical Storms jeanne and Gordon went through, Jeanne alone took over 3000 Lifes!!! and all solely due the Floods and Mudslides, nobody been blown away from a windforce or such.

building Tent Cities to let some hundred Thousands survive a few months longer will not solve a thing in Haiti,
give those People something effordable to cook with other than WOOD,
get those Hills Reforrested or for Each Tree not Planted 100 Humans will Die.
a simple Cicle that proofs to be fact in Haiti since Decades,
but TreePlanting Maybe still seen as a Job for Greenpeace and Treehuggers, not suitable for the Comfo Saloons of Politicians when holding their Big Speechs.
In Haiti People DIE due a simple October or November or X-mas or what ever Month/Day Rain.
Now we are talking about any Country's biggest Nightmare on approach,
and No Time to plant a Tree before Tomas Rains down on 'em,
there is not even any evacuation running due leak of a place where to go to.
it's the good ole tactics:
Run as fast as You Can,
if that's not fast enough,
Run Faster!

Tomas is actually predicted to Track trough the channel between jamaica and the SW'ern Tip of the Haitian Peninsula, Tracking NNE through the Channel between SE Cuba and NW Haiti, with a slight tought on the Haitian SW and again on the Pass NW. such could leave due the widespreading Rainfalls there 1-3K Names on the final List.
IF Tomas passes Western Haiti 50-70 miles more East of that Track, by far within the Cone of Uncertainties, the List will write easily in 5 Figures Numbers for Haiti alone.
but I guess Today's World Economy does not allow for Mayor Forrestation Programs.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bracing for a big one

Fear of looming hurricane grips Haitian quake camps
Reuters, By Matthew Bigg, Nov 2, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - How do you prepare a tent to stand up to a

That is the question faced by hundreds of thousands of Haitian earthquake
survivors living in fragile outdoor camps who are bracing for a hurricane
forecast to hit the poor, stricken Caribbean country over the weekend.

"This camp won't stand up to a big wind," said Jean Sincio, a coordinator
for a camp of flimsy tents built in the grounds of a school. It is one of
hundreds of tent and tarpaulin settlements in the wrecked capital
Port-au-Prince housing more than 1.3 million people left homeless by the
January 12 quake.

Tropical Storm Tomas hit the Caribbean's eastern islands as a hurricane
three days ago, killing five people in St. Lucia before weakening. It is
seen gathering force again to batter Haiti and Jamaica on Friday,
forecasters said.

This has triggered another national emergency for the Western Hemisphere's
poorest nation, which lost more than a quarter of a million people to the
earthquake and is now also battling a cholera epidemic that has killed more
than 300.

"Normally in Haiti we are not adequately prepared for this type of
catastrophe, but this time people are even more fragile," said Jamson
Charles, a local leader at the Acra 2 camp that climbs one of
Port-au-Prince's many steep hills.

With United Nations aid officials fearing an hours-long battering from
Tomas, volunteers have been clearing trash from drainage ditches to allow
floodwater to disperse more easily.

But the Acra 2 camp's tents, like most in the capital, are made of tarpaulin
tacked to a thin wooden frame, flimsy at the best of times and no match for
a hurricane.

A full-scale evacuation of the more than a million camp dwellers is
impossible -- there is simply not enough existing secure shelter where they
can be transferred to -- so Haitian authorities are urging camp residents
who can do so to seek safer refuge with family and friends who have solid

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tomas, which was carrying top
sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, could regain hurricane strength by

On Tuesday evening, the storm was about 385 miles from Port-au-Prince and
moving west across the Caribbean Sea. It was expected to turn northwest in
the next two days on a track that could pose a "significant threat" to
Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the hurricane center said.


Underlining the quake survivors' vulnerability, a storm in September killed
at least six people, injured 70 and destroyed or damaged the tent homes of
more than 10,000 families. Floods and mudslides in mid-October killed 10
more people.

The United Nations and aid agencies, already stretched by the still
spreading cholera epidemic, have launched a major logistics operation to
prepare for the hurricane, rushing food, medicine and shelter materials to
the camps and to coastal communities seen at risk from storm surge or

Disaster-prone Haiti is regularly battered by tropical storms. Four struck
the country in quick succession in 2008, killing hundreds and forcing
residents of Gonaives on the west coast to live on their roofs for weeks
when the town flooded.

In the capital's Petionville Golf Club quake survivors' camp, camp leaders
were urging residents to keep away from ravines that rain could turn into
raging torrents.

Many camp residents said they did not have any money to stock up on
provisions after months being unable to finds jobs after the earthquake,
which crippled the Haitian economy.

"Yes, we have heard of the hurricane but I haven't done anything to prepare.
There's nothing much I can do without money," said seamstress Emma Augustin,
who lost four of her 10 children in the earthquake. She lives in a temporary
camp of around 5,000 people set up in the grounds of the prime minister's
residence on a hillside.

"The state has basically ceased to exist since January 12th," said Yves-Mary
Sopin, a camp leader there. "If there is a hurricane here, people will cry.
They will pray and maybe they will run to the Red Cross tent."

But after the traumatizing experience of the quake, in which victims were
crushed in falling buildings, many were still frightened about the idea of
sheltering in buildings.

"If there is a hurricane, people will run to the school, but of course
people are afraid of concrete after the earthquake," said the school camp
coordinator Sincio.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Paid Internship Available

Post: Program Monitor
Project: Women’s Empowerment in Border Regions of Haiti
Location: Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti
Starting: February 2011
Duration: 12 months (renewable up to 24 months)
Reports To: Sr. Program Officer
Summary: Employee monitors grant performance via on-site inspection and regularly communicates observations to HQ management (via Skype/email). Monitor conducts periodic visits to targeted communes to observe trainers, women’s groups and partner organizations; communicating program-related observations to Sr. Program Officer; and preparing written reports regarding program activities (as directed by HQ). Monitor is expected to become immediately familiar with BRA’s agreement with USAID, contractual activities, performance indicators, benchmarks and schedules under this USAID program. Monitor is also expected to share information with Program Coordinator, and assist Program Coordinator with other tasks when possible.
· Work with Sr. Program Officer (US), Program Coordinator and local partners to launch program
· Help Program Coordinator collect key project data and transmit (in ENGLISH) to Sr. Program Officer to write quarterly reports
· Conduct on-site visits to observe and document program activities
· Design and maintain reports to monitor USAID performance indicators
· Attend training sessions and document results on USAID TraiNet (TBD)
· Test training clients on comprehension and training efficacy
· Attend forums and document presentations and interaction
· Conduct in-home visits with clients to measure program impact
· Document development activities of regional program partners
· Document entrepreneurial activities of microfinance clients
· Prepare quarterly recommendations for activity improvement
· Other tasks as assigned by Sr. Program Officer
Skills: Excellent verbal communication with local population and colleagues
Report writing per instructions
Computer proficient
Requirements: College graduate. Some experience traveling/living overseas. Live in Haiti (Anse-a-Pitres) or Pedernales (Dominican Republic)
Language: English-speaking (must). Haitian Creole and/or French
Contact: Submit resumes to Ulrick Gaillard at ugaillard@bateyrelief.org