lundi 2 mai 2011

Solar Lamps: The Newest Public Safety Tool in Haiti

Published Mon, May 2nd, 2011 Amid the tattered tents, dirty water, and sour odors, lurks another threat to thousands of Haiti’s tent camp residents – the darkness.

Already homeless survivors of last year’s devastating earthquake, many residents have also had to contend with fear of the night. With no lighting in the camps, its deep shadows have left many residents vulnerable to crime and accidents.
But Haiti-based company, Axxium hopes to change that with a program, which is already underway, to install solar-powered street lamps.
Company technician Lambert Jean Osnel has helped install the fixtures around the Corail camp, which is located on the northern outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
“What you see there is the solar panel, which is what charges the battery. The panel receives the sun’s light and converts it into energy, and this energy charges the battery. The battery runs the current that goes to the panel and feeds the bulb at night.”
Roughly 12,000 Haitians call this home, their only option after the earthquake. And since then, the camp has been criticized for its lack of resources.
Camp leader Sanom Pierre says light is a critical component to improving the current conditions at Corail.
“We can say that darkness is one of the causes of insecurity, in all senses – sexual violation, one can fall if one goes out at night – in all ways it makes things more dangerous. And also, it is an obstacle to development.”
Thirty lamps have been strategically placed near camp latrines, providing security for women who have found themselves vulnerable to sexual attacks at night.
One resident Beaubrun Oslande says she sees an improvement.
“Before, if a woman passed by here at night, she ran the risk of being raped or robbed or attacked. Now if someone tries to put their hand on her, the people gather – but that does not happen now because there is light.”
Funded by the United Nations, each lamp costs about $2,000 and can store solar energy for four days and nights.
Bottom Line: Solar-powered streetlamps are coming to Haiti’s tent camps in an effort to cut down on crime, particularly sexual violence, and to provide reliable lighting to the community.

L'Usaid contribue au renforcement du secteur agricole

A l'occasion de la fête du Travail et de l'Agriculture le gouvernement américain, à travers l'Agence Américaine pour le Développement International (USAID), a inauguré le Centre de Développement Rural Durable dans la localité de Bas Boen à la Croix des Bouquets. Ce centre contribuera à moderniser le secteur agricole haïtien en formant les agriculteurs à utiliser des techniques modernes de l'agriculture qui permettront d'augmenter la production et les revenus. La directrice de l'USAID en Haïti, Carleene Dei, a mis l'accent sur le support du gouvernement américain qui contribuera à former des milliers d'agriculteurs au cours des prochaines années. " Une fois que le centre fonctionnera sans problème, les institutions haïtiennes possèderont les connaissances et l'expérience pour gérer le centre sans notre aide", a-t-elle expliqué.
L'agriculture qui représente 25 % du Produit Intérieur Brut (PIB) est un secteur prioritaire pour le gouvernement haïtien et l'Agence Américaine pour le Développement International (USAID). Le Centre de Développement Rural Durable est l'un des 8 centres de formation agricole construits grâce au financement du gouvernement américain.
Sur le campus de cinq hectares de Bas Boen ont été construits un centre de formation, un dépôt, un dortoir, trois laboratoires et un espace pour la formation à distance. Les centres de formation font partie du programme de lutte contre la faim dans le monde et pour la sécurité alimentaire du président américain Barack Obama.
LLM / radio Métropole Haïti

Suisse: confiscation des fonds Duvalier

AFP 02/05/2011
Le gouvernement suisse a annoncé lundi avoir ouvert une action en confiscation des avoirs de l'ex-président haïtien Jean-Claude Duvalier bloqués en Suisse depuis 25 ans.
Le Département fédéral des finances a ouvert une procédure le 29 avril devant le Tribunal administratif fédéral visant à restituer les avoirs Duvalier à Haïti, selon les modalités prévues par une nouvelle loi sur la restitution des avoirs illicites, selon un communiqué.
"En cas d'admission de l'action en confiscation, la Confédération suisse restituera les avoirs Duvalier à Haïti selon les modalités prévues par la loi sur la restitution des avoirs illicites," indique le texte.
Le montant de ces avoirs confisqués avoisine les 6 millions de francs (4,5 millions d'euros, 6,7 millions de dollars).
Le gouvernement suisse avait franchi en février dernier une étape décisive vers une restitution des avoirs de l'ancien dictateur haïtien Jean-Claude Duvalier en lançant formellement une demande de confiscation auprès de son ministère des Finances.
La nouvelle loi baptisée "Lex Duvalier" est entrée en vigueur pour palier à un manque apparu dans la longue bataille judiciaire sur la restitution au peuple haïtien des millions déposés par la famille Duvalier sur des comptes suisses.
Haïti estime que plus de 100 millions de dollars ont été détournés sous le couvert d'oeuvres sociales avant la chute du dictateur, qui avait succédé en 1971 à son père François.
Après son retour en Haïti en janvier, M. Duvalier a été inculpé de corruption, détournements de fonds publics et association de malfaiteurs et plusieurs plaintes ont été déposées contre lui pour violations des droits de l'homme et crimes contre l'humanité.
Toutefois le futur président haïtien Michael Martelly a déclaré récemment dans une interview qu'il "pourrait penser" à une amnistie pour ses prédécesseurs Jean-Claude Duvalier et Jean-Bertrand Aristide, évoquant "la nécessité" de promouvoir la réconciliation dans le pays.

Contractor hopes to build model village in Haiti

KITCHENER — Clive Diggins has already built his prototype. Now he wants to build a village.
The Kitchener contractor, who says his plan to build 100 disaster relief shelters in Haiti began after he had a nightmare about the country’s 2010 earthquake, knows he’s got a lot of work to do.
First, he needs about $500,000 in donations.
“I know $500,000 sounds like a lot of money. But that’s about the price of one home in Waterloo. We could house 400 people (in Haiti) for that,” he said.
And he needs to turn his project Borders and Beyond, a concept he created about a year ago, into a full-fledged non-profit organization.
But he’s got the land — a soccer field on a hill outside Port au Prince — and permission from the owner to build. And he’s got his shelter design, a 3.65 metre by 2.4 metre (12 foot by eight foot) portable home with a steel roof, toilet and rain filtration system.
He’s already built a prototype, a plastic-sided building that he’s placed on display at the St. Jacobs farmers’ market. He’s sunk about $20,000 and many months of designing into the structure.
Diggins believes this shelter, with its improved sanitation and earthquake-resistant construction, can save lives.
Fifteen months after the disaster that killed 316,000 Haitians, there are still more than 600,000 people living in temporary camps around the country. Diggins hopes his 100-shelter village would be a model that would lead to larger contracts to house thousands more.
He hopes to start construction on the shelters in September, and hopes it would stand as a model for officials writing cheques in Haiti’s rebuilding effort. He plans to bring a crew of six or eight workers to the shattered Haitian capital, and teach locals how to assemble the prefabricated shelters themselves. He plans to install water purification and portable toilets, too.
It’s an ambitious project for a man who has never done anything like this before. But it’s a project he believes in, even more so since visiting the quake-shattered Caribbean country in March.
“We’ve just got to get in and do this project,” Diggins said. “These people need this.”
The contractor said he’s been pitching his plan to local companies, hoping for sponsorship, selling it as a cost-effective way to give safe, adaptable homes to 400 people.

New Agriculture Center to Train Thousands of Haitian Farmers

BAS BOEN, HAITI - The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), kicked-off Haiti’s National Agriculture and Labor Day on May 1 by inaugurating a cutting-edge agricultural training center.

The Sustainable Rural Development Center will help modernize Haiti’s agricultural sector by training farmers to use innovative agriculture techniques that will increase crop yields and boost incomes. The five-hectare campus features a training center, warehouse, dormitory, three laboratories and a distance-learning facility.
Haitian farmers will benefit from the resources physically located at the center and virtually through an online video link with agriculture experts at the University of Florida. The onsite dormitory will teach farmers from across the country, including the northern region, how to analyze soil, identify pests and diagnose diseases that hamper crop production. They will also learn to use tools and techniques like drip irrigation and fertilizer briquettes that reduce costs and boost yields.
Agriculture is central to the Haitian economy, generating nearly 25 percent of gross domestic product and employing more than 60 percent of the population, but declining crop production has plagued Haiti for the past 50 years. The Government of Haiti identified agriculture as a key sector to create jobs and boost the economy. The U.S. government responded by designating agriculture as one of the four areas targeted for earthquake reconstruction along with health, governance and infrastructure.
Initially, public and private sector partners will manage the new center, including: USAID, the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, the National School of Agronomy, local farmer associations, and representatives from Haitian agribusinesses. In the next few years, the U.S. government will transfer full management responsibilities to Haitian institutions.
“Our support will help train thousands of farmers over the next few years,” said USAID/Haiti Mission Director Carleene Dei. “Once the center is running smoothly, Haitian institutions will possess the knowledge and experience to manage the center without our assistance.”
The Sustainable Rural Development Center is one of eight agricultural training centers built with U.S. government funding in Haiti. The facilities are part of President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative; Feed the Future, which is working to reduce global hunger and poverty by supporting country-led plans for agricultural development.

East Stroudsburg man lends a hand in Haiti

Pocono Record Photographer
May 02, 2011

Greg Pershyn, of East Stroudsburg, in Stroud Township.
 Pershyn recently returned from a mission to the  Haitian
town of La Pointe where he installed a public address system
for a hospital. Keith R. Stevenson/Pocono Record

Greg Pershyn, of East Stroudsburg, has been an installation technician for 18 years, setting up phone and computer networks for area businesses. He now runs his own business, ensuring that data and calls get to where they're supposed to.
Earlier this month, he answered a call from a higher power to go and do good works in another part of the world.
Pershyn, a member of the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church, had been looking for a way to directly contribute to the lives of others when he was approached by the missionary group CrossWorld, which presented him with an opportunity to use his skills in Haiti.
One of the speakers installed by Pershyn at the Beraca
Medical Center in La Pointe, Haiti, during a mission there earlier
 this month.
"I think that God placed it on my heart that I wanted to do something for Haiti, but I didn't know what. All of sudden there was this project that this pastor wanted to install a PA system and it was exactly what I do. I thought, 'Now we're talking my stuff!'"
With his way paid by Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church and the Light of the World Church in Stroudsburg, Pershyn toted 1,000 feet of cable donated by Friedman Electric and components acquired below cost to the town of La Pointe on the northern coast of Haiti, home to the Beraca Medical Center.
Once there, he set to work installing a public address system across the six-building campus.
The 15-speaker system is being used to funnel music into waiting areas and more importantly, is used by the doctors to help educate people about diseases, their signs and symptoms and the treatments that help prevent or cure them.

Pastor Wilber at the Beraca Medical Center in La Pointe, Haiti, with the hospital’s PA system. The system was installed by Pershyn during a mission to the hospital.

"In the week that we were down there, three people died from rabies. So, they actually had the doctors talking on this for a while and educating them on what to do with a dog bite," he said. "That alone may have saved a life."
 He spent seven days in the country, enjoying home-cooked local cuisine, and he returned with a different outlook on his life in the states.
"It gives you a renewed appreciation, not so much of what we have, but of what we don't have here anymore. My cell phone didn't work down there. It was nice to be able to just concentrate on what you were doing, or to have a sit-down lunch break. It was nice to not have the mad pace that we have here."

Haiti Still Needs Help

Valley group continuing to collect necessities
Updated: Sunday, 01 May 2011, 10:50 PM MDT
PHOENIX - Following the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, many people are forgetting that Haiti is still rebuilding from a massive earthquake that destroyed much of the country in January 2010.
On Sunday, a big event was held in Phoenix to raise money for those in need.
Local businessmen showcased their skills in a basketball game against some of the best athletes in the nation -- most of them football players like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Steve Breaston.
Developer Michael Pollack and Christine Ellis, founder of the Haitian Disaster Relief of Arizona, are continuing their work to take basic necessities and medical supplies to the still devastated nation.
The relief center's Mesa warehouse location is filling up with $1 million worth of additional supplies on top of the $3 million already distributed.
If you don't have money or supplies, volunteer work is something anyone can give for a disaster.
Find out how you can help:
Haitian Disaster Relief Center of Arizona

Family helping in Haiti for a year home for a visit

Will come home for good in February 2012 FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A Fort Wayne family who moved to Haiti for a year is back in town for a short visit after living there for three months.
After thinking about it for months, the Malmstrom family decided they were being called to help in Haiti. They put their house on the market and moved to Haiti at the beginning of the year.
Rick, a paramedic, and Liz, a nurse, are using their medical skills to heal and train in Haiti.
"Our goal is when we leave we won't need to be replaced. That the clinic will be completely Haitian-run," Liz said.
The Malmstroms are in Haiti with Mission of Hope Haiti. Liz works in wound care treating wounds that are sometimes harder to heal than in the United States because of the Haitian lifestyle and tropical weather.
"I try to figure out the best way to treat wounds in that environment and then teach nurses to do that on a daily basis," Liz said.
Rick works in the emergency services area treating patients with Haitian doctors. But he's also on a committee to get a nationwide 911 system started.
"A simple version of a 911 system and pre-hospital care we're training everything from the lay person knowing first aid all the way up to trauma in a hospital," Rick said.
The family's oldest son, Jake, also helps out when he's not taking his school classes online.
"Sometimes I'll go out with a team to a village and play with the kids or paint a house or help with whatever they need us to do," Jake said.
The family will stay there for a full year, but Haiti requires visitors to leave for a few weeks every three months. That's why they're back in Fort Wayne for two weeks.
While the family is happy to see Fort Wayne family and friends, they're anxious to get back to their Haitian home and the progress they're already seeing.
"I think it's really moving forward for us," Rick said. "I feel encouraged about the training and the progress and the happiness and joy we feel back from the people there."
The Malmstrom family will return home for a few weeks every three months. Their mission trip will be over in February 2012.
To follow their experiences on their blog, click here:

Haiti-Food Prices

AP-May 02, 2011 02:21 EDT
Haiti hard hit by food, fuel hikes
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The tough times in Haiti are being complicated by rising food and other prices.
The price hikes come as the earthquake aid operation scales back, and the market reasserts itself.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says Haiti's staple food, rice, rose from 42 cents a pound in September to $1.38 in January. It's fallen some since, but is still pricey in a country where 10 million people get by on less than $2 a day.
Corn, which cost about 31 cents a pound just before Haiti's devastating earthquake more than a year ago, was almost double that price in March.
Gasoline has doubled in price, to $5 a gallon, which prompted a strike last month by cab drivers. They had to call it off because they were so desperate for fares.