Haiti: One Year Later
A year ago today, 300,000 people died in an earthquake that still scars the lives of Haitians.
On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti and crushed an estimated 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings.
Over a million people were left homeless, including 380,000 children, and the U.N. estimates that 650,000 people will still be living in refugee camps by the end of 2011.
Less than five percent of the rubble created by the catastrophic earthquake has been cleared.
According to the aid group Oxfam, only 15 percent of the temporary housing that is needed has been built and relatively few permanent water and sanitation facilities have been constructed.
The Haitian government has received $824 million of the $4.6 billion pledged by international donors during a New York conference. The rest is pledged to be received by the end of 2011.
A total of about $10 billion has been donated from around the globe since the disaster struck.
Experts estimate that there is enough rubble to fill trucks parked bumper to bumper halfway around the world.
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, thousands of Haitians live in tents around Champs Mars, the city’s central plaza.
“I hear about aid on TV but us in Champs Mars, we’ve never seen it. We have no way to get out,” 55-year-old Ginelle Pierre Louis told Dailymail.
“The diplomats pass through in the air, in helicopters, but they never come through here on the ground,” said Hyacinthe Mintha, 56, a resident of Champs Mars, which overlooks the heavily damaged presidential palace.
Women and young girls living at the 1,200 refugee camps in Haiti fear of being raped at night.
“The big problem we have in the camps now is that they are really not well lit at night when a lot of the rapes are happening,” spokeswoman Marie Devla told the BBC.
“Sometimes we have cases where girls as young as four or five years old are being raped.”
The citizens of the distraught country can now only wait until their tattered lives are slowly fixed from the extraordinary natural disaster that took place there 365 days ago.
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