Today is day three of lockdown on our base, and for most NGOs in Lèogâne. And while it is my belief that the protests, tire burnings, and violence that ensued after election results were released late Tuesday evening are justified, the past days’ events reveal an ever-present human weakness that impairs good work done in Haiti and worldwide: we are easily distracted.
Yesterday, amidst news of blockades near our local bus stop, rocks thrown at passersby, and motos commandeered to secure more propane for tire burnings as gas stations have been closed, the rapid spread of cholera was nearly overlooked.
Yet, in only three days, eight cases of cholera have been documented in our small vicinity, over forty in Lèogâne itself. Traditionally, we host a radio program for the local community to inform them about the epidemic, but it was recommended we refrain last night, as the community is consumed by election results.
Cholera, itself, was a distraction for most organizations participating in infrastructural developments after the earthquake. Why think of long-term solutions when cholera is at our doorstep?
And so, I’m continually struck by the question: why is it impossible to implement multi-pronged approaches to development?
I understand that our efforts at present are at a standstill because of security concerns. Yet, my hope is that when both the local and expatriate communities emerge from lockdown, we create a multi-faceted strategy to recovery and rehabilitation in Haiti.
By the way…did I mention, Sarah Palin’s coming to Haiti this weekend?