by Jacqueline Charles and Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald, Oct. 28, 2012
Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe peered from the helicopter window and paused, as if needing time to process the ravaged landscape below: washed-out roads, rotting crops, flooded roads and raging rivers flowing with mud. “We have a big job to do,’’ Lamothe said to Sen. Steven Benoit, a member of the opposition party, who was along on a grim damage survey Saturday.
With the death toll rising to at least 51 and an estimated 200,000 homeless as a result of four days of relentless rain from Hurricane Sandy, Lamothe appealed for patience and called for investment in flood-control structures that are largely absent from the countryside. But he also expressed a weary frustration, one shared by many in this poor nation reeling from a string of natural disasters. With each one, he said, Haiti has taken a step backward. “It should not be normal that every time it rains, we have a catastrophe throughout the country,” Lamothe said.