Thursday, January 13, 2011

One Year After Earthquake, Haiti Still In Chaos

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that shook Haiti, killing an estimated 230,000 people, leaving a million homeless, and commencing a year of disasters and riots for the underdeveloped nation.

A year later, Chip Lambert of the Medical Benevolence Foundation says the caribbean nation has dealt with more issues than many other countries face in a larger span of time.

"[Haiti's] a country that had more than just an earthquake occur this year. I mean there was policital instability, there was a hurricane, there was a cholera outbreak. You know, Haiti really had three or four major things in a 12-month span that really went beyond any other country that comes to mind to me," Lambert says.

A hurricane in early November compounded upon the nation's already detroyed island, and a cholera outbreak from poor drinking water sickened more than 50,000 people and killed more than 1,000. The nation, which is infamous for its corrupt politicians, has been hurt by the lack of a political presence and those in power have often refused the support of other nations.

Immediately after the disaster, generous support came from around the world, but Lambert says much of the money given has went virtually nowhere.

"There was collected I think a little over $5 billion and it was just sitting in banks or in the hands of someone and not being used. So there was frustation that there was all this money and yet not a lot was being done with it," Lambert says.

He stresses the only way the country can begin to set itself straight is to support a Haitian leader who won't be corrupt and will cooperate with the nations that are willing to help.

"If you could find someone within Haiti that the majority trusted and liked and put them in power with some checks and balances on what they're doing, I think things could get done a lot quicker," Lambert says.

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