Haiti Report: "No Water, No Food. People in Canada Would Have Rioted By Now..."

Haiti---The situation here continues to deteriorate with many people now out of water, and food. We just had another call from the Ethnology Institute at Champs de Mars in the Centre of the city saying they are again out of water and medical supplies. No one there, including the clinic staff, has had any outside aid except from us. We thought when we did the stop gap tanker run on Sunday that by now the aid machine would be rolling. It is after all Day 8.

At the last filter installation the noon meal was a tiny bit of rice with a bouillon of what looked to me like grass with peanut husks.

People in Canada would have rioted by now.

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Here in Delmas, a major poorer suburb, there has been some medical aid by informal teams of doctors and improvised  provision of medical supplies and also by teams of first Belgian, then Canadian and French doctors.  But today, Day 8, there has still been no provision of water.  Every day there are several dozen people asking if they can get water or food from us.  There has been a very small distribution of food from the Dominican Republic through the mayor's office.  Today we were installing filters in the neighbourhood for clusters of people who have lost their homes, and this afternoon we hope to get some more into clinics.  Several commented that we are the first aid of any kind that they have seen.  One asked me where all the helicopters that fly over are going to?  Many people are desperately short of water and have not eaten since the quake.  Most people have no money to buy the little bit of local food available on the street.

E-mail excerpts from David Putt in Port-au-Prince, January 19, 2009 


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