Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ghana to assist Haiti over earthquake disaster

Described as the worst natural disaster in recent times, last Tuesday’s earthquake in the former French colony of Haiti has left in its trail a massive scale of unspoken horror. Leaders across the world have been shaken by the quake and Ghana’s President, John Mills has on behalf of his people conveyed the sympathy of Ghanaians to the people of Haiti.

In a letter which was signed by himself, the President said he’s learnt with great “shock and deep sorrow” the event of January 12, 2009, and how much destruction that has caused to human lives and properties.

“While the scale of destruction is still being assessed, it is already clear to us in Ghana that a tragedy of huge proportions has hit your beloved country, the President said.

“I therefore hasten to express, on behalf of the People and Government of Ghana and in my own name, heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the People of Haiti and your Government for the incalculable losses your country has suffered in this natural disaster.”

President Mills also pledged Ghana’s readiness to contribute to efforts already underway to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

“We are marshalling our resources and will in due course make our modest contribution to your national effort at bringing relief and succor to the people of Haiti who have suffered great loss.”

Meanwhile, Liberia has given an indication that it will be donating US$50,000 as part of relief efforts to already underway. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal has also pledged his country’s support to airlift as many Haitians willing to settle in Senegal, whom he believes had their roots from Africa.

A Rescue group from South Africa has also made its way there helping with the search for bodies trapped under huge concrete rubbles.

Arguably one of the most impoverished nations within the Caribbean Island, the first time Haiti experienced such an unspeakable scale of horror was in the 1940s and though this former French colony has been characterised by poverty and political upheavals, never has it witnessed a disaster of such magnitude.

Hundreds of thousands of people are said to be missing, most of whom are believed to be buried under collapsed concrete roofs. Especially in the capital Port-au-Prince, it is believed over two hundred students including their supervisors have been buried under a collapsed building.

Electricity, water supplies as well as communication links have been cut off therefore making it difficult for those outside the capital to be reached by aide agencies. According to reports especially from the BBC, relief items dispatched to the country are far less than required as the number of survivors in need of assistance continue to out-strip the items that continue to come in.

Survivors are said to be deeply traumatised and with most of them sustaining serious body injuries and in need of serious medical attention, reports indicate such persons are likely to die from their injuries. The BBC’s World Affairs Correspondent Mark Doyle on Saturday told the Newshour Programme, most survivors who are yet to receive any package are seriously fighting with the rest of their folks for the little aide that has come to them.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says his administration is getting in touch with world leaders including US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to convey a meeting to raise funds to assist in efforts that will lead to the restoration of the country.

The Obama administration has meanwhile brought together former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush to deliberate on the way out regarding the raising of financial assistance to support the Haitians.

Also, the United Nations has recorded massive loss of staff and properties. The UN representative in Haiti, a Tunisian national died in the quake. Other staff members are also missing and chances of them being rescued alive do not exist.

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