PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Ten years after a powerful earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, the secretary of state for the integration of persons with disabilities, Gerald Oriol Jr., has called on Haitians to remember those who survived the tragedy.“These people, most of whom today live with a disability, are survivors to whom we have a duty of solidarity. Their limitations bear witness to our shortcomings and characterise our multiple challenges to be met. Let us be at the rendezvous of history!“This date remains engraved in our collective memory. That day, the earth spoke to us too hard; it has deeply shaken our bowels. It took 35 seconds to see hundreds of thousands of bruised bodies; to take away hundreds of thousands of loved ones, to collapse part of our economy and our society. This earthquake separated us from many of our loved ones and left us with unfathomable suffering, the many consequences of which are still before our eyes. We will remember it forever.”Oriol, in his message, said the country must be prepared in the event of another act of nature.Ten years later, should we not ask ourselves if nature’s message has been understood? In this time let us be in reflection and especially in action. We must be able to say: never! Never again! Let’s prepare the next day and be ready !”Meanwhile, the German Embassy in its message said the scars from the physical damage and moral suffering caused by the earthquake remain.“One of the things that caught the attention of Embassy colleagues, who were there at the time, was this impressive movement of solidarity among Haitians that was observed immediately after the disaster. Before aid from outside arrived, the Haitians, with the means at hand, took care of themselves, illustrating this popular belief ‘Pwoblèm nou youn se pou nou tout’.As we commemorate the memory of the missing and pay tribute to the victims of January 12, 2010, the German Embassy expresses the wish that this spirit of solidarity and resilience continue to prevail in all spheres of activity of the Haitian Nation and that they ultimately lead to a better future for the entire population,” the embassy said in a statement.The powerful earthquake killed an estimated 220,000 people, displaced over one million and about 300,000 were injured.
…say passengers fearfulThe quantity of passengers who utilise the route 42 (Diamond-Grove) buses to travel and conduct daily errands has diminished significantly and according to drivers, it is due to the far distance and unscrupulous operators who are operating outside of the recently relocated bus park.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, the troubled drivers shared their complaints as they have not been able to make a proper daily earning since commuters are refusing to traverse the additional journey to reach the bus park. Additionally, others are choosing to utilise taxis and other transportation which willScarce passengers and reduced operations on Bugle Street since the relocation of the bus parkget them to their destination faster than waiting for the buses to full.One driver who identified himself as Derrick (only name given) told this publication that a day’s scenario involves many buses leaving the park with just a few passengers because it now takes close to 40 minutes to acquire a full load.“Some days, instead of 15 person you leaving here with seven or even less. The trouble is to walk at the back here with all your goods that you buy through this sun. The couple [persons] that reach here don’t want to wait so we got to go away with half load.”He explained that while the vehicles are consuming the same amount of fuel to complete the route, they are making just over half of their daily earnings.“It really hard for us cause they saying is years we gotta spend here. Some of us don’t know if we lasting til Christmas. When we getting the park back? This is not even a park. We operating on the street.”“I get a conductor that got to get pay by the end of the day. I got to buy gas and then I got to give bribe to the constab [City Constabulary] cause they coming every hour to check if we just step out of the line. That’s the truth. This is a hole cause some people still don’t know that we here!” said another by the name of Sheik.It was relayed by him that they drivers are also afraid to work into the late evening hours since the robbery rate in the area is skyrocketing. The prevalence of petty thieves is increasing in the nights, whereby commuters are constantly being relieved of the belongings, mostly phones, cash and jewellery.The men noted that they would’ve made efforts to contact the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) but to no avail.Since August, the park was relocated to make accommodation for vendors of the Stabroek Wharf which was deemed unsafe until rehabilitative works are carried out. Some have been placed on Bugle Street while the others are currently at Water Street.Drivers are calling for the Town Council to look into the issue and hopefully provide another spot which is not detached from the Stabroek Market and its adjoining transportation hub.