Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Evictions Continue

We're a little behind the game on this post, but, still, the forced evictions of already-displaced people from camps is an ongoing issue and one that we need to make sure isn't dropped from public discourse.

A week ago the residents of Camp Django, on Delmas 17, were facing eviction. So, with the solidarity of 4 other displacements camps from around the city, they protested:

They laid on one side of Route Delmas, singing and effectively blocking off traffic for several hours with signs that read, "Justice for people in tents," "We ask for justice," and simply, "Justice."

Later that night, the landowner came anyway, with thugs and machetes, forcing people off of the property with threats of violence. UN officers stationed nearby, theoretically to protect camp residents, claimed not to have known that the eviction was occurring. Al Jazeera produced this short film* with footage that was shot by Bri Kouri:
Today there are still more than 600,000 people living in displacement camps. It's been 18 months since the earthquake. Conditions in the camps are abysmal and residents have had to cope with security issues, including high incidences of rape and violence against women and children, a cholera epidemic, lack of access to basic services such as latrines and potable water, and are now in the midst of their second hurricane season. 

A recent survey conducted by IOM finally refuted the all-too-popular theory that many people are choosing to live in camps. A summary states, "The Intentions Survey found that 94 per cent of people living in camps would leave if they had alternative accommodation. Most of those surveyed said if they had to depart immediately, they would not have the means to pay rent or the resources to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed homes."

Although the government is implementing a plan to relocate residents of six of the most visible camps (one of which was Sylvio Cator...), there is still no plan in place to provide housing for all IDPs. So far, the amount of money being given to families to relocate does not come close to enough to allow them to pay rent somewhere or to repair or replace a damaged home. So when they are evicted, where will they go?

For more about the eviction of Camp Django, and the exclusion of displaced people, read
Inactions Speaking Louder than Words: Hurricane Emily's Near-Miss Too Close for Haiti's IDPs by Mark Schuller and Mark Synder. 

* In the film, Mark Snyder of International Action Ties is erroneously depicted as Mayor Wilson Jeudy, the mayor of Delmas

1 comment:

thomas said...

Thank you for the update!


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