Disaster on the ground: The Haiti Earthquake
Following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, stories and images of the devastation filled the media. People around the world responded with donations and sympathy. Recovery efforts began quickly, but as FSRN has reported, official efforts continue to fall short of meeting the basic needs of hundreds of thousands of Haitians.
"My job has been to document and to report what's going on here," says FSRN reporter Dolores M. Bernal in this Reporter's Notebook. "It hasn't always been easy. It's been challenging to not be able to do more."
Dolores M. Bernal recently returned from her three weeks of reporting from Haiti, and she shares these photos and reflections.
Now, more than six weeks after the quake, the achingly slow pace of recovery is increasingly becoming a disaster of its own.
Four weeks after the earthquake, serious problems continued to confront food aid distribution in Port-au-Prince. And hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors continued to be without adequate shelter, resorting to tarps and makeshift coverings.
Meanwhile, some communities outside Port-au-Prince received no aid at all until more than a month after the earthquake. As a result, some communities have done their best to organize their own grassroots relief effort with little or no aid through official recovery channels.
Now, the rainy season is coming to Haiti, with its violent tropical storms. Aid organizations are finally distributing tarps for shelter, but with few instructions for setting them up and with serious concerns about their suitability for the heavy rains to come.
While meeting the material needs of Haitians remains a priority, the emotional trauma of the earthquake and its aftermath may prove to be an even longer recovery. FSRN recently looked at how Haitians are coping with the trauma and the need for psychological help.