Corail Cesselesse, Photo: © melindayiti
New demonstrations by camp dwellers. Port-au-Prince, September 13, 2010 (AHP) — Dozens of survivors from several camps in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince including Corail Cessless and Canaan participated, on Monday, in a sit-in near the Presidential Palace in order to demand that the government honours its promises.
Demonstrators recalled that when they were taken to Camp Corail, the government had promised that it would be for a period not exceeding three months.
They complained that today it is more than six months that they have been exposed to every danger in this isolated camp, without even minimal means to ensure the survival of their families. They said they were fed up with continuing to live in tents and plastic sheeting that offer no protection.
Some reported that panic sets in every time the rain starts to fall, “since we are located in an area exposed to extreme weather: “When this is not the fear of showers or storms, it is the sun that is beating down on the desert environment”, they added.
These victims of the 12 January who consider themselves “exiles” have also indicated that under these conditions, they do not see how they will cope with the return to school on 4 October.
They are asking the government to fulfill its promises and build decent houses for them to live in with their families.
Residents of several other groups had demonstrated on Friday at the new office building of the Prime Minister on the Bicentenaire, calling for an improvement of their living conditions eight months after the earthquake.
Members of the Platform of Employee Victims of Public Enterprises (PEVEP) organised the sit-in Monday in Port-au-Prince to renew their demands that the government “pays the back wages to employees who were unfairly dismissed”.
They first marched to the premises of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MAST) and then headed towards the Presidential palace.
“We want to ensure that the new Minister of Social Affairs, Gérald Germain and the President hear our demands”, said Charles Fritz-Gerald, President of the PEVEP.
He said that in the budget 2009 – 2010, there is a budget line for the payment of wages demanded by workers’ unfairly dismissed from the public enterprises.
“What have they done with this money when the fiscal year is in its last month?”, asked Charles Fritz-Gerald, reaffirming that his platform will not give up.
(Original French, translated by the Haiti Support Group)