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Jan 12, 2011

One year anniversary of Earthquake in Haiti

It has been one year since an earthquake measuring seven point one on the Richter Scale shook the lives of residents of Haiti. The National Palace, one of the strongest structures, was amongst the rubble by the time the earth stopped shaking. Those who were spared of their lives lost their homes and dreams.  Over a million people have been living in a virtual tent city fighting diseases such as cholera. Rebuilding has been slow and the promised relief, has trickled even slower. Many Belizeans came out and offered support in prayers as well as dollars. At this station, we did our share and contributed to relief efforts launched by the Belize Red Cross that raised over six hundred thousand dollars for Haiti. This morning Haitian Belizean Reverend Roosvelt Papouloute offered his thanks to his fellow Belizeans on the anniversary of the devastation.

Rev. Roosvelt Papouloute, Hatian National/Belize Resident

roosvelt papouloute

“I think it’s fitting for me as a Haitian National living in Belize to say thanks to the people of Belize for their response, for their contribution, for their kindness, and for their solidarity with the people of Haiti. Right after the earthquake, the response was overwhelming. The Church, the media, the government, the public and private sectors, the business community, children, boys and girls, everyone was concerned,  and had expressed their pain and opportunity to serve and help the people of Haiti to overcome the challenges. The situation hasn’t changed in a way that we will say the people are happy now because up to now one million people still living under the tents, schools are yet to be rebuilt, the hospitals that were destroyed are yet to be rebuilt, but by and large, life continues.  Though people are still living under the tents, yet they are trying their best to live their lives, hoping that the country and the international community and all those who can help them rebuild what they have lost and make the world a little better for them in Haiti.”

Jose Sanchez

“The Haiitan Belizeans, have they all been able to establish contact and support with their relatives in Haiti?”

Rev. Roosvelt Papouloute

“Yes, perhaps four to five weeks after the earthquake, those who live in Belize were able to establish contact with their family members and friends in Haiti. I had the opportunity to visit one month after the earthquake. I did visit some of the relatives of the ones living in Belize. And fortunately not too many of them had had close relatives directly affected by the earthquake.”

Reverend Papouloute said that the plans to rebuild can take up to ten years and it will be a long time before the rebuilding process becomes a reality.

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