Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Waste Dumping in Haiti and US Support of Impunity

A leaked UN report shows that a month after the cholera epidemic erupted in Haiti, the UN was told about unsanitary practices across its bases: Over 10% of bases were dumping sewage into the local environment and 70% were dumping gray water (shower and kitchen water) that could also cause infections. Despite this strong evidence that peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti, the UN continued denying it and to this day, has never formally acknowledged its culpability. Our case against the UN for failing to provide the cholera victims access to justice is currently in the appeals process, with US government attorneys arguing the UN’s case in court. As the largest contributor to the UN, the US government could do so much to push the UN on justice and accountability. Instead, it is supporting UN impunity.

Part of the transcript is below. Click HERE for the full text and recording.

Leaked Report Reveals Unsanitary Conditions At UN Bases During Haitian Cholera Epidemic

The United States is actively discouraging countries from holding the UN accountable for bringing cholera to Haiti, says Brian Concannon, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The Real News Network

April 6, 2016

Leaked Report Reveals Unsanitary Conditions At UN Bases During Haitian
Cholera EpidemicJESSICA DESVARIEUX: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. The UN is back in the hot-seat. A leaked UN report is exposing how the World Body knew about unsanitary conditions at bases in Haiti a month after a cholera epidemic erupted in the country. It’s wildly acknowledged that the UN peacekeepers from Nepal brought cholera to Haiti. DNA tests prove that the cholera strain in Haiti was a perfect match to the strain active in South Asia. The UN has consistently denied being responsible for the outbreak, but now with this leaked report, it could provide more evidence for 1500 Haitian cholera victims and families who are suing the UN for negligently bringing cholera to Haiti months after a earthquake devastated the country. Now joining us is one of the attorneys for the victims, Brian Concannon. He’s the executive director of the institute of justice and democracy in Haiti. Thanks so much for joining us, Brian

BRIAN CONCANNON: Well thanks so much for having me Jessica. It’s good to be with you.

DESVARIEUX: So Brian, let’s start out by discussing some of the alarming findings in the report. A month after the cholera outbreak began, more than one in 10 UN camps were still disposing of sewage directly into local environments. So we were talking about dumping into rivers, do accounts corroborate some of your own findings?

CONCANNON: It corroborates but it’s much worse than we thought. We knew that the UN base in Meille where the cholera broke out, that that was dumping their waste into the river, we didn’t know that it was system wide, that 10 % of all camps were doing this. It’s also important to know that 10% of the camps were dumping their toilet water. 70 % were dumping what they call “gray water,” which is a mixture of shower water, kitchen water, that can also contain infectious diseases.


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