Searing images have been burned into our collective memories from the earthquake calamities and catastrophes which befell Haiti on January 12, 2010.
Ten months has since passed since 300,000 people horrifically died, the passage of time has not reduced the grief and desperation on ground in Haiti.
Only recently, 5 persons in the many tent camps Haiti were killed by rainstorms, rainstorms which also rendered 210 tents useless. Thankfully and luckily, the hurricane season this year has been less severe and this has meant some sorts of respite for the already beleaguered nation and people of Haiti.
The television cameras are long gone and public sympathy has elapsed. Complacency have seemingly set in. The plights and predicaments of our people worldwide is exemplified by the current precarious limbo in which, and to which Haitians have been seemingly consigned.
The human condition of our people remain, are best described by recent public statements by former American Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired US Army General, when he stated that “So many rocks in our sack, and so, we have trouble carrying it”
Haiti, in the earthquake aftermath, is a toxic mix of poverty, adversities, calamities, catastrophes, tragedies which is multiplied by a factor 2 million people.
Two million people who are currently homeless and remain in direst of straits. These two million Haitians are part of the approximately 2 billion continental Africans and peoples of African descent on earth, whose plights and predicaments are not much different. Man made disasters and Acts of God tragedies conspire and combine to make our lives toughest than any other groups people in the world. Our people remain beset by too many challenges piled on, exacerbated by newer ones.
Where are the loud and ostentatious pledges and promises of relief and reconstructions or where is divine interventions from the heavens? How does anyone reassure 2 million Haitians who are homeless for almost a whole year now? This, even after the world made a great show on television, insisting to frazzled Haitians that help was on the way?
Great expectations are now forlorn? What is it about geopolitics and or human psyche in which Foreign Aid is not steered to where the need is greatest? Where is Bill Clinton?
Haiti, though a poor nation, she does have a population of the most courageous people on the face of the earth! Haitians have faced and confronted sundry adversities and have always tethered through, weathering the storms, almost with equanimity. It is important to make this point and mention the tenacity of the people of Haiti, even in the midst of the most severe earthquake in human memory. Haitians, despite the extraordinary toll in terms of human lives lost, are managing to carry on, as close to a semblance of normalcy as possible.
It is sadly the case that tents wearing thin from wear and tear, rain, sun and other natural from the elements. Haitian people have become understandably weary. This was illustrated recently by The New York Times feature article, in which so many Haitians were crying out for help in letters to the entire world which described the very pathetic and abject human conditions which persist in Haiti, over ten months since the earthquake in January.
Planners had hoped by now that 130,000 tent dwellers would have been resettled, but so far, after almost a whole year since the earthquake, only 10% resettlement have been achieved .The fragile and flimsy temporary accommodations are disintegrating. Tarpaulin tents are fraying under the elements, formerly white tents now grey, and torn, exposing two million inhabitants to more sufferings and hardships
There is still no water, no electricity available to all regularly and on steady, or reliable basis, there are continuing concerns for disease outbreaks of epidemic proportions, such as cholera and other diseases which are exacerbated by unsanitary conditions. The congested tents camps environment in which Haitians displaced by the earthquake now live, is said to be suffused and reek with raw sewage and rain water flowing in the camp being a common sight
It is really sad that 2 million Haitian are still homeless more than 10 months after earthquake which killed 230,000 people. It is so disconcerting that our microwave culture with short attention span, have
forgotten or at least, have allowed the plights and predicaments of Haitians, victims of the worst earthquake, are abandoned and their abject conditions have receded to the back burner and recesses of our consciousness.