Haiti is a Caribbean island with a population of approximately 10 million (as of 2011 consensus, most recent), this small proportioned country has been plagued each year with natural disasters due to it lying on the hurricane belt, severe storms from the tropical weather as well as flooding, earthquakes and occasional droughts, however this country is not usually thrown into the public eye by the media as much as it should be to raise awareness.
Over the last few days there has been a increase in media coverage of the constant cholera outbreak on the island with new claims that the cholera outbreak was actually started by UN camps sewage systems surrounding the local area. In December last year there was a appeal to fight the strongest outbreak of cholera that they have seen so far in the world that is still currently killing and infecting thousands, however there has long been a debate over the evidence that UN peacekeepers brought the epidemic to the petite island.
Back in December the UN refused to answer any allegations made towards them however the BBC states that ‘UN’s own cholera experts told the BBC it was “most likely” the epidemic started at a UN base.’
However the UN has never claimed that they have caused this. Although however prior to this epidemic outbreak, despite Haiti’s other disasters and consequences the country had not recorded a single case of cholera for more than a century.
For those who do not know Cholera is a bacterial infection and occurs when drinking water becomes contaminated with a type of bacteria called vibrio cholerae, this is then passed on when food comes into contact with the contaminated water and is digested by humans or can be spread through human faeces.
Nearly three years on from when the cholera outbreak was first suspected the UN have officially rejected compensation claims by victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Haitian President Michel Martelly to inform him of the decision. The UN’s mission that apparently caused the outbreak ( MINUSTAH ) is protected from actions in the Haitian courts meaning that any compensation that Haiti wish to claim from the alleged organisation and people who caused the epidemic will be tough and near impossible since they are claiming immunity from any sanctions.
The suit for compensation originated in the month of November 2011 by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), It sought to proceed with the UN to install a national water and sanitation system to control the epidemic, pay compensation to victims for their losses, and make a public apology for its “wrongful acts”.
With the UN not accepting or confirming any allegations towards the Haiti outbreak despite the collection of evidence provided, and the gradual move of immunity from the Haitian courts this means a not very successful outlook for Haiti and more lives lost now and in the future due to misconduct and honesty.