Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Hurricane Matthew exposes Haiti's rich-poor gap
By Amelie BARON
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Oct 3, 2016


As Hurricane Matthew churns toward Haiti, the inability of the country's impoverished majority to prepare for the storm has laid bare the gaping economic disparities in the poorest country in the Americas.

Matthew, the most menacing storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade, was forecast to dump up to 100 centimeters (40 inches) of rain on some parts of the country and set off life-threatening floods and mudslides after charging ashore Monday night.

"We are very concerned. We especially need disinfectant, candles, matches, canned food and of course water," Patricia, a woman in her 40s, told AFP while checking out at a supermarket, her leather handbag balanced on top of a shopping cart full of food and basic necessities.

She pulled out a bank card to pay for the supplies that cost more than $50 -- a small fortune by the standards of many ordinary Haitians.

In the upscale hilltop suburb of Petionville, stores stayed open all day Sunday to allow customers to stock up. By midday, shelves for bread, pasta and water were nearly bare.

"We're expecting three days of storm-related impact and I see people buying like they won't have access to anything for two or three weeks. It's ridiculous! I'm only buying the minimum," said Roxane Ledan.

- Out of reach -

But even stocking up on the basics is out of reach for a majority of Haitians.

More than six million of the country's 10.4 million people live below the poverty line of $2.42 per day, according to the latest World Bank statistics.

The glaring inequity isn't limited to food and supplies. The poor are also unable to access information about the looming storm.

While the wealthier Haitians have been trading weather alerts and emergency instructions on their smartphones, some of the country's poorest people aren't even aware of the threat.

"Someone here at the port just told me a hurricane is coming. I hadn't heard anything about it," said Fritznel, a villager from the seaside community of Pestel, 280 kilometers (175 miles) west of Port-au-Prince.

At midday Sunday, just a few kilometers from the supermarket, he was sitting helplessly on his sailboat docked in the Bay of Port-au-Prince.

"I don't know how I'm going to get home because I can't go out on the water, it's too dangerous," he said.

"I called my family to tell them to take shelter in the church next to our home, which is not very strong," said the man, who had only a few coins in his pocket and did not know where he would wait out the storm.

- 'Will be disaster' -

Haiti's yawning rich-poor gap is denounced by many, including those in the upper class.

"I don't worry about myself, I may have broken windows or water in my house... (but) I literally panic for the poor people who live on the coasts. These people will die," Ledan said.

"They don't buy their food in supermarkets, they farm small plots of land and they have animals," she said. "It will be disaster for them if we don't do more to prevent it."

Haitian authorities have said they are running outreach campaigns, but many people said they never received any text message from the government.

The lack of information and preparation was a source of concern for the humanitarian community and international organizations.

"This country has always had hurricanes and yet even today, it's not ready," said a foreign diplomat, among those doing some last-minute shopping at the supermarket.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


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






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1 dead, dozens missing after China landslides: reports
Suichang, China (AFP) Sept 29, 2016
One person has died and dozens are missing after landslides swept through two Chinese villages, state media said Thursday, as rescuers scrambled to find survivors. Heavy wind and rains brought by Typhoon Megi triggered the landslides around 5:30pm (0930 GMT) Wednesday, which struck the villages of Sucun and Baofeng in eastern Zhejiang province's Suichang county, the official Xinhua news agen ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Health workers, hospitals targeted in Syria war

1 dead, dozens missing after China landslides: reports

27 missing in E. China landslide: Xinhua

Santos, Timochenko: Colombia foes turned peacemakers

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Indonesian scavengers scrape a living by recycling

Use of 'large open-ended pipe piles' could lead to lower-cost bridge construction

Yes, the rumors are true! Brandeis really has a space chair

Levitating nanoparticle improves torque sensing in quest for quantum theory fundamentals

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
'Marine snow' drifts buoy life on ocean floor

Sharks: feared predator in need of protection

Deep-sea creatures are eating microplastics, new evidence confirms

Scientists in New Caledonia hope for best after coral bleaching

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Northern Lights trump street lights in Iceland

Global cooling yielded modern ecosystems 7 million years ago

Arctic Sea Ice Annual Minimum ties second lowest on record

Land-based food not nutritionally sufficient for wild polar bears

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Chinese giant turns to France to meet soaring demand for baby formula

Review of studies finds genetically engineered crops are safe

China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Mexico evacuates hundreds as volcano spews lava

Hurricane Matthew threatens Caribbean, Typhoon Lionrock eyes southern Japan

Tourists flee volcano at popular Indonesia hiking spot

Typhoon Megi kills one in China after Taiwan destruction

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Zimbabwe, Namibia to push for ivory trade

Congo train attack kills 14 including children

United States investing in Niger air base

Can Africa's mobile money revolution reduce poverty?

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Why Does Dying Cost More for People of Color

World's first baby born from 3-parent technique: report

UMass Amherst Research Traces Past Climate, Human Migration in the Faroe Islands

Yes, Computing Genetic Ancestors is Super Accurate




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






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement