Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Fear, confusion as Haiti tent camp shuts

by Staff Writers
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Jan 15, 2011
Officials in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince sparked fear, confusion -- and some hope -- when they began closing down a tent camp for earthquake victims.

Evicted families sat on muddy ground in Place St Pierre, next to piles of cooking pots and bundles of clothes Friday. Around them, dozens of dirty tents standing in the square ever since the January 12, 2010 earthquake, lay folded.

Residents preparing to leave said they had been given a few hours notice and promised the equivalent of about 500 dollars per family in compensation.

However, it took officials until dark to arrive with the money, plunging these dispossessed people into deep anxiety.

"This morning they told us to take down our tent," said Jelene Dorest, who at 35 is the mother of eight children. "They promised money and we've been waiting ever since."

Although the money eventually came, Dorest said she didn't know her next step: "We don't know where we'll spend the night."

The initiative by city authorities appears to be part of tentative steps to reduce the number of people in squalid, often dangerous tent towns.

The United Nations says about 810,000 people occupy camps in the earthquake zone, which includes the capital and the most densely inhabited areas of Haiti. That figure is down from 1.5 million people six months ago and continues to fall steadily.

Initially, the camps provided emergency shelter for a population scattered by the quake, which in a few seconds killed more than 220,000 people and shattered already decrepit infrastructure.

However, camps have also turned into breeding grounds for cholera, while criminals, particularly rapists, plague the helpless inhabitants.

Jacques-Eduard Thelusma, 34, said his "dream" is to escape the Place St Pierre camp, which consists of plastic tents packed into a once attractive square in the hilly Petionville neighborhood.

But the manner in which he was being forced out left him fearful. "They kept us waiting for the money and we don't know where we'll go," he said.

Thelusma, who spoke English and French as well as his native Creole, said he has managed to find odd jobs over the last year to help feed a family of nine, including a baby that was asleep with two young girls in one of the park's flower beds.

However, he worried the 500 dollars compensation would barely be enough to begin a new life.

"You can hardly rent a one room house with that," he said.

Most of the tents jammed into the park remained up. It seemed that authorities were closing only one section at a time.

In the swath already cleared, the ground was littered with empty plastic bottles, scraps of clothing and other detritus.

Smoke from camp fires and burning garbage drifted across the families waiting to be paid.

One woman, Denese Denejou, was optimistic about the forced change.

"I'm glad about this. When we get the money we're going to move and I will use it to start a business. I'll sell cosmetics and whatever I can," Denejou, 49, said.

"I have three children and I want them out of here. This place is no good. It's horrible. We're going to have a new start."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Rueful but not remorseful, Wyclef Jean back in Haiti
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Jan 12, 2011
Wyclef Jean, the pop singer who had hoped to become Haiti's next president, is rueful but not remorseful about his brief foray into politics. The Haiti-born hip hop artist has returned to Port-au-Prince for the one year anniversary of the earthquake that left Haiti in ruins and killed a quarter-million of his countrymen. "It was a positive decision, but it wasn't a popular decision to ma ... read more

Fear, confusion as Haiti tent camp shuts

Sri Lanka mine fears as floods recede

USGS unveils California megastorm scenario

Struggling Haiti faces crucial week in politics

Method Discovered To Determine When Metals Reach End Of Life

Launch of Murdoch's The Daily delayed: report

Google buys eBook Technologies

Direct Observation Of Carbon Monoxide Binding To Metal-Porphyrines

Overfishing blamed for ocean reef loss

Lake Erie Hypoxic Zone Doesn't Affect All Fish The Same

Virus called suspect in salmon deaths

FAO unveils new guidelines on fishing discards

Greenpeace slams BP over Russia deal to explore Arctic

Mountain Glacier Melt To Contribute 12 Centimetres To World Sea-Level Increases By 2100

Warming to devastate glaciers, Antarctic icesheet - studies

Russia reaches first stranded fishermen

Germany shuts 934 bird farms, piggeries after food scare

Chickens modified to halt bird flu

Miscanthus Has A Fighting Chance Against Weeds

Lameness - A Common And Painful Disease In Calves

Tsunami survivor escapes deadly Australian floods

Disease threat for Sri Lanka flood victims

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

ECOWAS defence chiefs to meet on Ivory Coast

French strike killed French hostage in Mali: Qaeda

2.5 million face starvation in Somalia, PM tells UN

Indian sailors jailed in Somalia over illegal charcoal

Climate tied to rise, fall of cultures

Impact Of Traffic Noise On Sleep Patterns

Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago

Publication of ESP study causes furor

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement