Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sights, Sounds, Smells at Terraine D'Acra

I realized I never described Terraine D'Acra. The land belongs to a factory nearby. It's at the convergence of a few different neighborhoods in the Delmas area of the city. 5,000 people are living there, organized based on the neighborhood they are from.

When you walk through the doors to the settlement, there is trash. Trash everywhere. No one lived in this area before the earthquake, but it seems like it may have been used to dump garbage. A small stream runs through the camp, clogged with trash. The stench is very unpleasant.

People have located their makeshift shelters far enough away from the stream that you can't smell it. The whole area is very hilly. Shelters meander up the hill, with structures on each side of a 'main street'.

If you look at the settlement from the top of the hill, you see sticks driven into the ground in all of the open areas. People have searched for wood wherever they can and begun building the foundation for shelter. But there's not enough wood to complete these shelters, and it doesn't seem people have anything to create a roof with.

Some things about life here are normal. Kids are running around playing everywhere. People are trying to support their families. Women are cooking food to sell to others in the camp.

But people here need help. There's no latrines. People need help building shelter. Access to water is limited. And many people need medical attention. We're getting started by distributing shelter supplies and opening a clinic in the camp. But, there's still a ways to go to get all the essentials for this settlement of 5,000 people.

Stay tuned for more updates from D'Acra.

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