It was bound to happen – an epidemic of national proportions was just a matter of time in this country. After the January 12, 2010 earthquake many predicted that the poor handling of dead bodies and the conditions in the tent cities around the capital, Port-Au-Prince would result in serious health problems. By September 2010, conditions were not much better. Approximately 1 million people were still calling tents their homes.
As such it comes as no major surprise that the island has been hit by a cholera outbreak. News reports from the Haitian government reveal that over 2000 persons now have the diseases. Based on the infrastructure and poverty in the country there is no doubt this number will climb. The number of dead officially reported to be over 200, but who knows how many others have died so far.
Many countries have offered aid after the earthquake, but obvious much more still needs to be done. The current economic climate is not helping as donations are down in many quarters. What is clear is that Haitians will have to take their situation in hand and start working together to make this once proud country proud again.
It is sad to see the plight of the first black republic. Sadly, much of the poverty the country faces is in no small part due to political corruption over the years. Hopefully, the current government and succeeding ones will work to take Haiti out of its continuing crisis. It can be done – but it is not the responsibility of the international community alone. The main responsibility must rest with the Haitians themselves – both those at home and abroad.
They must be true to and help fulfill Toussaint L’ouverture’s vision for his country: “Toussaint’s vision for Haiti projected a society embracing equal opportunity for all with social leveling through education and hard work.”