July 6, 2020

Thousands of Haitians start again after the passage of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

The thousands of Haitian immigrants living in the Bahamas fled misfortune in their country and after Hurricane Dorian passed through the archipelago they could face a worse life than they left behind.

A hurricane that left, according to official figures, at least 50 dead, although this data is expected to be higher due to the thousands of people missing in the two areas most affected by the cyclone, Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.

For Wednesday, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis, is scheduled to announce an increase in the number of victims and report on the status of recovery work.

The Government estimates that some 10,000 people in Abaco need water, food and temporary housing, while according to the UN 70,000 people do not have housing or are seriously damaged in the areas affected by the hurricane.

Most of the Haitian residents in the Bahamas lived in Piggeon Pea and The Mudd, in the Abaco Islands, however none of this remained standing after the passage of the cyclone as they inhabited shacks and shacks of poor construction.

According to the Minister Counselor of the Haitian Embassy in the Bahamas, Dorval Darlier, there is concern about the fate of Haitians living in Abaco and has even indicated that it will be difficult to know how many did not survive.

The difficulty lies in the fact that many of them resided illegally in the Bahamas and were not enrolled in the diplomatic legation.

In turn, he underscored the fact that the Haitian community lived in poverty, making it very difficult for many of them to survive a category 5 hurricane like Dorian.

As for those who have survived the cyclone, he mentioned that he is "worried as it is harder for them" compared to the Bahamians "to get back on their feet since they have their homes insured and the Haitians have not," he said Darlier in statements published today by local media.

At the same time, he was convinced that the Bahamas authorities are not going to leave Haitians out of aid since "they are making a balanced distribution of aid."

"They feed them and treat them if they are sick," added Darlier, who added that when some were evacuated the process was carried out at the same time as the Bahamians.

Finally, he insisted that his main concern is how many Haitians died from Hurricane Dorian.

"It is very difficult for me to ask the Government … many of them were illegal so neither they nor we can know if they are dead or not, since there is no official accounting of how many there are," he said.

The main problem of Haitians residing in the Bahamas is the high level of undocumented immigrants residing in the archipelago, so both the count of how many survived and died, and the fear of many of them going to the authorities for help or power staying in a temporary shelter since they face the possibility of being deported, is a fact.

Others, having lost their homes, have lost their passports and work permits, which puts them in a situation of maximum legal defenselessness for the future.

A future they face with nothing of what little they had both in their country and when they arrived in Bahamas.

In spite of everything in many shelters in Nassau, the capital, the majority of those who lodge in them are Haitians who prefer to be there or face the possibility of being deported, rather than returning to their country, one of the poorest in the world .

In the shelter they are fed daily, they sleep on a cot, they can be washed and have a blanket under which to shelter.

Despite the fear that they could be deported to the place where they fled looking for something better, the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency of the Bahamas (NEMA), Carl Smith, has repeatedly indicated that, by the moment, nobody is going to repatriate.

Hundreds of Haitians have been rescued this year when they tried to get crammed in boats to the Bahamas, most of them were located in June and totaled 200.

All of them were later returned to their country.

One of the worst tragedies occurred in February this year when 28 of them died trying to reach the Abaco Islands.

Haiti is going through a deep economic, political and social crisis, while insecurity continues to increase and violent demonstrations persist because of corruption scandals that have splashed members of the current government and previous administrations.

. (tagsToTranslate) Thousands (t) Haitians (t) begin (t) Dorian (t) Bahamas

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