I'm going to take a break from showing destroyed buildings for a little while, but don't worry, I have over a hundred such images and will be posting more in the future. Today I'm going to share some of the other scenes I captured as we were traveling through the city.
One of a seemingly endless amount of similar signs. All of these signs were written in English and Spanish, not either of the native languages of French or Creole. This shows how much faith the locals had in their governments ability to provide relief. The Red Cross had set up 6 distribution points throughout the city to provide food and drinkable water. Port-au-Prince and its surrounding residential area are home to an estimate of over three million people. A little quick math and we see that each of those distribution points would need to service over 500,000 people. On top of that, many Haitians did not have cars and would have to carry the large bags of rice and heavy containers of water for miles back to their home. I'm not trying to fault the Red Cross for their efforts, but to show that the scale of the disaster lead to many people lacking access to basic essentials.
Another basic essential unavailable to the average resident was garbage pick up. Trash ended up piled on the side of the street, in alleys, and in channels designed to drain the massive rains out of the city safely during the rainy season. Shown here is one such channel, as seen from a bridge of the street running over it. With no disposal service the trash either sat in place or was burned. I'm not sure if this particular fire was intentional, as no one seemed to be watching over it. However, scenes like this were common enough that the locals ignored it and went about their business. While the threat of fires spreading and the health issues involved with inhaling the smoke are serious issues, I believe the most danger would come with the rains. Large currents of water would sweep through areas like this and leave trash strewn about the city. Wet, rotting trash in the tropical climate would be an idea breeding ground for infection and disease. Trash like this could lead to major outbreaks of disease like tuberculosis, dysentery, and cholera, and maybe be the cause of the recently reported outbreak of the latter in Port-au-Prince.
Usually near the trash could be found animals such as livestock and dogs searching for food. I took this picture of two baby goats playfully headbutting each other while a large hog nosed through trash just out of frame. I don't know if these animals escaped when their pens were destroyed, or if their owners had been killed and the animals were turned out to fend for themselves. As far as I could tell, no one claimed the animals scrounging on the street. They seemed to wander where they pleased in search of food. Surely there were a great many pets and domestic animals killed in the quake or left without needed care due to a tragedy befalling their owners. Unfortunately, with the relief capacity already stretched beyond the limit trying to assist the human population, there was almost no chance that the animals would receive the care they needed.
Prints available on request. Any donations should be made to (www.missionsoflove.org) to support their ongoing medical efforts in Haiti.
- Arrival at the Hospital
- Hey guys sorry for the lack of posts. I've been r...
- Well I'm a little pressed for time and a little em...
- Temporary Housing
- Scenes on the Street
- More Destruction
- Entering Port-au-Prince
- Entering Haiti
- Santo Domingo
- I have decided to try to make this account of my t...
- ▼ February 2011 (11)