For those who haven’t been to Haiti for a while, or for those who have never been but have seen the hell on earth portrayed in the media, the fact that Champs-de-Mars and other plazas in Port-au-Prince are no longer home to thousands of people is a symbol of progress.
Celebrating this “liberation” of public spaces, President Martelly is planning a Carnival des Fleurs, a tradition under Duvalier, scheduled to begin July 29, a day after the anniversary of the 1915 U.S. invasion.
For the 390,276 people the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates who are still under ripped sheets of plastic or tarp, it’s too soon to celebrate.
Many believe this relocation of camps on highly-visible areas is akin to sweeping the garbage off the floor only to have it out of sight and out of mind, in someone else’s backyard. Where are people going?
For its part, the IOM is keeping track of people they have relocated in the 16/6 program. But the 16/6 camps only account for 5 percent of the total camp population.
And for the others? “Nou pa konnen.” We don’t know.