When an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010 it caused widespread disaster and a huge humanitarian problem.
Measuring 7.0Mw on the Richter scale it ripped through the country, and with at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater, this earthquake caused an incredible amount of damage. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. 300,000 were injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. And the human cost? 316,000 dead – making it one of the deadliest earthquakes ever.
And then cholera hit.
Before 2010, cholera had become non-existent in Haiti but since then more than 7,500 people have died from the cholera epidemic and hundreds of new cases are still being registered every week.
The cause? A UN soldier from Nepal.
There had been an epidemic of cholera in Nepal and the waste from one soldier got into the water system, flowed down the nearby Meye River and into the country’s main waterways. It spread into the coastal town of Saint Marc before moving on, with deadly speed, into the slums of the capital Port au Prince. Haiti now has more cases than on the whole of the African continent.
The UN is now facing compensation claims that could run into the billions, causing great difficulties for an organisation that, despite its issues, does more than anyone in the world to help those in need.
The world has obviously forgotten about Haiti now but this just serves as a reminder that when things are no longer in the headlines, people continue to suffer. And it is often those with the least that suffer most, and those trying to do the best that end up footing the bill.
Just doin’ ma duty,
Old Bushel Britches x