EDITORIAL – Very little change yet in Haiti
TODAY, for Haitians everywhere, is anniversary year one of the desolation, deprivation and death brought to their country by the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. Forever etched in the lives of the hundreds of thousands still homeless is that grim day the 7.0 tremor threw most of their city Port-au-Prince and their homes to the ground.
And as these Haitians, unable to forget since their surroundings would not permit them, mark this day of remembrance with prayer, ritual and ceremony in their cultural comfort, the world looks on in dismay.
Little has changed since that quake roared in on these people who may have lost confidence in their human political agents and leaders, but have buried their hope in providence. More than anything else, the Haitian people pray that January 12, 2010 will not happen again. Their faith is about all they have left.
Church emissaries and missionaries abound: Protestant teams have been and continue to preach the return to their God and keeper, and from the Vatican Pope Benedict sends his blessings and promises the Roman Catholic Church’s charity arm will come soon.
And medical teams too promise continuing service; a cholera epidemic is a veritable challenge.
Do-gooders are everywhere; international organizations keep pledging money. Yet, the more that is organized for the people of Haiti, the less appears to be done.
When Haiti most needs leadership, the country finds itself in yet another round of political turmoil, the final outcome of presidential election squabbling now in the hands of the Provisional Electoral Council which may be being advised by CARICOM and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Pop star Michel “Sweet Micky”?Martelly has 22.2 per cent of the vote, his nearest rival being Jude Celestin, the government candidate, with 21.9. This is a reversal of the original tally, says an OAS election panel, and puts Martelly in a run-off with former first lady Mirlande Manigat, who received 31.6 per cent.
Many observers blame the lack of political stability and vision, and of social engineering, for the inability to get Haiti back on its feet.
Not only has there been almost no rebuilding, or restoration of services, but barely any of the rubble has been cleared from the earthquake-shaken spots – including that of the collapsed presidential palace.
Sadly, for all of Haiti time has pretty much stood still. Unexplainedly CARICOM leaders, who first dared to rush in, after a full year remain shockingly silent. It cannot be that come January 12 next, time for a suffering Haiti will remain transfixed.