Conditions Critical in Refugee Camps along Haitian Border
Over the last three months tens of thousands of refugees fled the Dominican Republic to Haiti. Approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people, including small children and babies, are living in shanty tents in two camps on the Bukara (a Creole word meaning, “wasteland”) outside of Anse à Pitres.
Local activist, Volmar “Eddy” Jonas, has been working to advocate for the refugees.
“ So here we have lots of refugees come from the DR to [the Haitian side of the border],” Eddy says in a Facebook message. “So here they are living in terrible conditions. So [my friend Luxon and I] were doing what we can to help them a little bit. Yesterday [August 29th] we give (sic) them rice.”
“We were trying to move them to bring them into a big school in the town for the rain. It wasn't that easy. I was sorry for that. [It wasn’t that easy because] the mayor and the Civil Protection [were not helpful]. We [went] to plan with them to see if they had a plan to move these people for the hurricane [but] they didn't really have this plan. We offered them transport to move these people, they said “well the space isn't available yet.” Saying that over and over like they didn't care until the rain started.”
There are two more camps in the mountains north of Anse à Pitres. The camps are in critical conditions, lacking necessary resources: aid kits, food, and clean water are all in want. The camps’ only water source is the river. The people depend on churches and aid workers for food supplies. On September 6th, a 22 year-old man died in a camp near Anse à Pitres.
“They said he was sick,” Eddy writes.