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Residents of Jalouzi talk about the new colors in their neighborhood

People living in Jalouzi like the new look of their neighborhood, but wish their homes had been repaired before they were painted. "From a distance it looks like an artist's painting."


Earthquake Homeless Protesting Evictions & Calling for Housing, March 28

Yesterday on March 26, the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA) and representatives of several camps for internally displaced people held a press conference in Port-au-Prince to highlight the ongoing plight of victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake who are still homeless three years later.

Twenty-five camps announced that they will mobilize on March 28, marching to demand that the Government of Haiti take responsibility for internally displaced people by putting an immediate stop to illegal and often violent evictions while finally creating a housing program that meets the needs of these families and removes then from the highly dangerous camps where they have struggled to survive for more than three years.

Victims spoke of feeling “bouke” – so exhausted by their circumstances that they cannot go on. One issue that was highlighted was the insecurity for women and children, who cannot be safe without walls.

At the same time, the press conference called attention to the housing construction happening at Morne Cabrit, small houses that activists feel don’t respect human dignity. Homeless families and IDP activists are calling on the government first and foremost to make land available for relocation.


Putting a Pretty Face on Haiti’s Housing Crisis

Analysis from Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye 

Jalouzi, a poor neighborhood on the hillside above Petionville, gets a makeover.Jalouzi is one of the largest heavily concentrated poor neighborhoods, or shantytowns, in Haiti. Due to its location on a steep hillside high above the capital of Port-au-Prince, Jalouzi is a dangerous place to live. It also endangers the surrounding areas because of the environmental consequences of replacing soil-retaining trees with concrete houses.

It is not a surprise that more houses have been built in Jalouzi in the last three years to accommodate a growing population of homeless or internally displaced people since the earthquake on January 12, 2010 (an estimated 1.5 million were rendered homeless that day). The Haitian Government and humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have supported a program that has encouraged the growth of shantytowns and created more danger.

The Haitian Government’s 16/6 program to remove displaced people and supposedly put them into new housing has been a total failure. The displaced families who were given a small stipend to rent a new home had no choice but to return to the same unsafe housing situations they were in before the earthquake, and many are now living in even more dangerous conditions.

Within a few months of the earthquake, many NGOs began complaining that they couldn’t find land to build housing for internally displaced families. This was in large part because the Haitian Government said it could not make land available. From the administration of President Preval to President Martelly, we’ve heard the same discourse about the government not having land available to build housing for homeless families who are still living in camps today.

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TransAfrica Mourns the Loss of President Hugo Chavez

President Hugo Chavez died today at the age of 58.TransAfrica was deeply saddened to learn of the death of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela today. After fighting cancer for the last two years, Chavez passed away today at the age of fifty-eight. Chavez was first elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and was serving a six-year term he won in October 2012.

Although he was often reduced to one-dimension by the mainstream media, Hugo Chavez was a dynamic leader who will be remembered for his tremendous contributions to the strengthen the well being of the most disadvantaged. Chavez’s policies had an impact not only on the poor in Venezuela, but with his leadership Venezuela also reached out to help support those most in need beyond its borders.

As TransAfrica President Nicole C. Lee noted today, “Many Venezuelans attribute higher standards of living to President Chavez’s leadership. His regional vision for Latin America was pioneering and his actions made a tremendous positive difference that will be his legacy.”

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Cholera in Haiti: Murder by foreigners with internal support

By Etant Dupain

Finally, through its response to the legal complaint brought on behalf of the victims, the United Nations has made it clear that they couldn’t care less about the families of the 8,000 people who have died and the more than 650,000 people infected with cholera. 

Despite the fact that it lacked mobilization and action at the grassroots level, the legal complaint was a critical part of asking the United Nations to take responsibility. The demobilization of popular organizations in the struggle against MINUSTAH has had a large effect and has given the public much to reflect on: what is the reason there hasn’t been a major mobilization from the population after the arrogant declaration of the United Nations?

One of the greatest deceptions is the position the Haitian government has taken throughout this cholera epidemic.

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