The situation in Haiti has become very grave. For approximately three weeks now there has been a complete lack of fuel available due to the fact that a powerful gang controls the main fuel terminal at the docks in Port-au-Prince. This follows a year and a half of fuel shortages, so that any stockpiles have been exhausted. Lack of fuel means that food cannot be transported from the countryside to the city, it means that water cannot be trucked to the many communities that rely on this method of distribution. It means that electricity has become a precious commodity since all of Haiti’s electricity is generated by fuel-burning plants.
Aside from the fuel issue, the majority of Port-au-Prince is also controlled by various gangs that have greatly expanded their territories since the assassination of President Moise in July of last year. The result is that the country, and especially Port-au-Prince, is in a state of lock-down. Institutions of all sorts, including Lamp’s Health Center, are temporarily closed.
For ordinary people it is a terrible time. We will only discover the consequences to health and life when the fuel supply is restored.
At Lamp, we are organized to take any opportunity to return to Bwa Nef (the portion of Cite Soleil where the Health Center is located) and to provide mobile clinics to the many groupings of people displaced by gang violence. We are discussing our response to the resurgent cholera with several partners. We are very well placed to take action as soon as it is possible, so that our presence will soon be very critical indeed.
Hopefully, the fuel issue will soon be resolved, without bloodshed, so that we can resume our normal services and respond to the enormous need that has been created by this crisis. The goal of Lamp’s work is to assist the most impoverished, so that we can only affirm that we are in the right place. The situation in Haiti is dire, but turning away does not help anyone.