IDP Camps, the invisibleness of needs and circumstance
A recent post in the Antillean reports that IOM claim 60,000 people remain in camps in and around Port-au-Prince [PAP]. However CHAL a housing action group based in Camp Acra & Adoquin, which alone has 32,500 residents as of May 2015, state the figures are much higher and count 68 camps in PAP. One possible reason [and here I’m being generous to IOM] is that IOM do not count those camps with shelters such as Caradeux in Tabarre and Camp Canaan on route Nationale both of which have over 30,000 residents. According to CHAL housing action group, IOM have not made a census of Camp Acra & Adoquin nor have they asked for a self-census so how would they know the numbers? Another point is how can we trust the figures given by an organisation that accompanies the HNP and MINUSTAH in middle of the night camp evictions?
Over the years I have visited a number of camps in PAP including those now dismantled in Champ Mars Place Boye and other visible locations visible to foreigners. The conditions of Camp Garage in Rue Justin Juste is one of the worst I have seen. There are approximately 15,000 people in the camp which is so overcrowded it is hardly possible to walk in the ‘pathways’ between the tents. The sanitation is deplorable and only now are what the residents hope ‘proper’ toilets being built at the rear of the camp. There is no lighting, rubbish fills every nook and when the rains fall, everyone is flooded as sewer is mixed with personal belongings. 5 1/2 years after the 2010 earthquake, IDP camps are THE SHAME of the so called international aid organisations and the STATE of the UN/Humanitarian aid corruption machine.
In the photos below there are no faces of residents, this is not to make residents invisible but rather to respect their dignity and to point to the ‘invisibleness’ of their needs and circumstance.