Two years ago this week I was embarking on the first full month of writing for this blog. I had a few posts that had picked up some following. On 10th January a huge earthquake hit the Island of Haiti.
The world stood by as shocking pictures appeared nightly on our television screens. The total number of people killed on this most undeveloped of Islands where there had always been huge Government corruption and widespread disease and poverty was 0ver 200,000.
I remember wanting to do something in reaction to the horrific scenes and I wrote a poem, which was unusual in that I am far from being a natural poet…. it just seemed the right thing to do at the time. The post was called Poems about Haiti and included a poem that Voltaire wrote in reaction to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.
That post remains the most popular single post that I have written for this blog. It ranks number 3 on a Google search for “Poems on Haiti” and continues to show up as hits from time to time two years since it was written.
Yesterday I watched a CNN report on Haiti two years after the earthquake. It seems that there are some things that have not changed. There is still rubble from the earthquake that has not been cleared. There is still huge outbreaks of cholera and there are many thousands living in tents in so-called temporary accommodation. There is an ineffective Government and a few days ago there were protests about the corruption of officials who live well whilst the huge amount of foreign aid that has come to Haiti fails to reach those who need it the most.
There is some hope though, over 700 schools have been rebuilt since the earthquake and the government has stated that education is the top priority, along with health in the rebuilding of the country. I saw a section of a film made for UNICEF by Tomas Nybo which showed a ten year old child talking about her hopes to become a nurse and use the benefits of her education in her rebuilt school to help others to live healthily in the future.
There is much that still needs to be done in this unfortunate Island in the Caribbean. In my poem I wrote (in respect to a child growing up in Haiti following the earthquake):
What will you do?
In that place
You will die there
Dirt, darkness, the screams of others
It was not your fault
You lived in that place
No.. it was not their fault that they lived in that place…… have their future prospects improved? The jury’s out on that.
- Haiti Still Suffering, But Advancing, 2 Years After Earthquake (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Haiti Earthquake …. two years later (nicoleandkevin.wordpress.com)
- Video: Visiting Haiti two years later (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Two years post-earthquake, Haiti still struggles with cholera [The Pump Handle] (scienceblogs.com)