MARTELLY AND LAMOTHE MET WITH PARLIAMENTARIANS YESTERDAY
(Haiti Libre) -
After his overflight assessment of the situation (by helicopter), the Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe accompanied by President Michel Martelly, met Saturday the parliamentarians in Port-au-Prince, about the crisis that confronts Haiti after the passage of Sandy. After this meeting, the Prime Minister at a press conference explained "[...] As you know, this morning I appealed to national solidarity because it is important that the powers are harmonized, to be able to manage the current crisis we are experiencing, and that we continue to live, because we have a provisional toll of 200,000 victims affected and 44 casualties, and this is a record that will certainly increase.
We have several cities, which are cut off from the rest of the country, which are flooded, as Léogâne, Petit-Goâve and Grand-Goâve. There are many problems in Les Cayes where many gardens are lost. Côtes de Fer is under water, and we are facing a major crisis.
We made an encounter, an assessment, with parliamentarians, to see how the situation is in their community and what we can do together to move forward. The President of the Republic who also attended the meeting made various proposals, which were very well received, such as for example decentralize the National Center for Equipment (CNE), to have a presence in the various departments and respond more quickly [...]
We do not yet have specific figures on the extent of damage, but there are several millions of dollars in losses and damage, so it is important to work together as Senator Benoît said this morning, 'time is for unity, for the union to deal with problems.'
There are big decisions that will be taken, because the state can not be continually on the defensive every time it rains or there is a flood [...] we must invest in prevention, we must protect our shores. It is necessary that we work on the issue of dredging and it will take big budgets, dredging of bays. We need to do it, nothing has been done for 25 years [...]
[...] This morning, I had an aerial view of the damage and there [with parliamentarians], we have taken all the grievances of what exactly happened in each municipality. We have this document; slso, we have different ministers who have visited several municipalities to assess the situation.
I also ask to be patient, because the government can not give an answer everywhere at the same time. We will be forced to do it gradually, with the resources available to the Government.
I would also like to thank the various foreign governments who responded to the call that the Haitian Government has launched. Today we have seen that the U.S. government had an Air Force plane that made an overflight assessment, the Government of Venezuela has sent a ship with 240 tons of food [...] Monday they will also send a plane with humanitarian aid. Taiwan also responded, but we still do not know exactly what they are sending, as is the Government of Mexico, without taking into account other countries.
Yesterday morning [Friday] I had a meeting with all the NGOs to coordinate the response [...] Tomorrow [Sunday] I'll have a meeting with Mr. Nigel Fisher, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator on the response that the international community will give to Haiti.
[...] The situation is very complicated, but in the coordinated execution, we can successfully relieve populations.
Now we will go to the Council of Ministers to decide on the major decisions to manage the problem upstream and invest in prevention, to avoid being all the time on the defensive and respond to emergencies [...] we need to solve the problem once and for all [...]"