Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Parallels Between Flint and Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

This article reveals the similarities between the two water-induced crises in Flint, Michigan and in Haiti. The author underlines the negligence that led to both crises: the dismissal of proof that water was contaminated by government officials in Flint and the lack of screening of its own agents and later the refusal to take responsibility by the UN. The author later raises the question of health and social justice, as she points out that these water crises have mostly affected already vulnerable populations.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Flint and Haiti: A Tale of Two Rivers, a Tale of Two Crimes

Victoria Koski-Karell, Truthout

February 20, 2015

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)

We made our way down the steep bank to the meandering river, Haiti’s largest: the Artibonite. My friends warned me about the strong currents, and also about the dangerous spirits that lurk beneath the surface in deep parts, waiting to drag any wayward swimmer into their murky depths. We stayed close to the shore, sitting on rocks or treading water as we bathed, played and did the laundry. Amid our laughter, I was reminded that the river holds other deadly presences.

Along its many miles, people are washing dirty clothes and sheets, washing themselves, washing vehicles, bringing animals to drink and dumping sewage. The latter sparked what would quickly become the world’s largest cholera epidemic in recent history. Since October 2010, when cholera was introduced into Haiti after sewage from a UN peacekeeping base was dumped into the river, close to 800,000 cases have been reported and more than 9,000 people have been killed. The UN continues to refuse to acknowledge or take responsibility for its proven involvement.


Click HERE for the original article.

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