20220925 184055 1

Haiti unrest worsens misery as residents face water shortages

thehourlynews 2 weeks ago 0
20220925 184055 1

Days of protests over fuel prices and crime have delayed or halted water distribution in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Thousands of people in Haiti faced water shortages after days of protests all but halted distribution, eyewitnesses said on Saturday, as an approaching storm caused further concern in the Caribbean country.

Many residents of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, have been forced to shelter in their homes this week as gunfire erupted and burning tires blocked streets during protests over rising fuel prices and crime.

That slowed or stopped companies that normally deliver water in the city, where daily highs have been reaching 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit).

Many took advantage of an expected mid-day lull on Saturday to rush to distribution centers to stock up on water and cooking gas for a few days, which has also run out in many places.

Fears about the arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona also fueled the rush to get water.

Forecasters said the heaviest rain from the storm was most likely to hit the Dominican Republic on the east of Hispaniola island.

Fort National resident Jean-Denis Severe said many had to travel miles to fill buckets and bottles and then carry them back home.

“I live in Fort National, since there are blockades in the country, we came here to buy water. If it wasn’t for these places, we would die of thirst,” she said.

The latest unrest in the country came as inflation reached its highest level in a decade and gang violence left hundreds dead and thousands displaced, with much of Haiti beyond the reach of the government.

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Richardson Adrien, a resident of Port-au-Prince, told the Reuters news agency that the lack of clean water was just the latest headache. In recent months, residents have also struggled to find fuel, leaving some unable to work.

Finding clear water “is a problem. We looked for him everywhere and we didn’t find him. We put Clorox in the water so we can drink it, there is no water to be found,” she said.

The Haitian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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