Haiti's Quake Homeless Getting Kicked Out
LIANE HANSEN, Host:
Leonard Doyle is the Haiti spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration. He's in Port-au-Prince and joins us by phone. Welcome to the program.
LEONARD DOYLE: Hello.
HANSEN: And we're speaking to you in a tent, are we not?
DOYLE: Yeah, well, I live in a tent. That's what I do.
HANSEN: Now tell us about the evictions. Who is evicting whom and why?
DOYLE: But there's also undoubtedly cases of eviction. Some of them are done appropriately. In some cases, we, the international organization have become directly involved in trying to negotiate better outcomes. In some cases, it happens in the dead of night and people wielding machetes come rolling in. And the next morning, the IDPs - the displaced people are gone.
HANSEN: Have there been other violent attempts to evict some of these displaced people?
DOYLE: I mean, on the other hand, it is certainly worth stressing that many of the landlords, you know, are at the pin of the collar and being hospitable to displaced people for six months now. And when I say landlord, it may be simply somebody who's got a patch of front garden who has accepted people in off the road.
HANSEN: And a lot of the people who are living in the camps don't have a home to go back to.
DOYLE: But it's happening at a very difficult time. The weather - summer is a particularly difficult time in Haiti. The rains come. The winds come. Tents get blown away. The potential is there for a hurricane.
HANSEN: I just wonder, I mean, given the situation you're in right now, I mean you're in a tent down there. You're dealing with displaced people. You've outlined the problems that are involved in trying to get people into a home of some sort. Do you have any idea of what might work?
DOYLE: And this is a difficult situation, which could readily become worse because the climatic conditions here are extremely trying. It's slap in the middle of the hurricane belt. It's on two fault lines for earthquakes. And on top of that you've got a population which is incredibly resilient, incredibly patient, but tragically has been left in a state of virtual un-empowerment, due to the many of years of dictatorship which was facilitated in large part by powerful neighbors.
HANSEN: Leonard Doyle is the Haiti spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration. We reached him in his tent in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Thank you so much.
DOYLE: You're welcome.
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