Senegal’s president has offered free land and “repatriation” to people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. President Abdoulaye Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, including some thought to be from Senegal.
Since Tuesday’s earthquake that hit Haiti to the ground, aid efforts have been flowing into the country but not many have been helped yet due to communication and transportation difficulties.
Countries like the US, EU countries have moved swiftly to offer help. For the past two days I have been wondering what can African countries do for Haiti people. Most of them cannot have that available money and resources to extend a hand. But I was really moved to see an offer from Wade which no other country at the aid forefront would ever grant-resettlement.
Haiti before the earthquake had also experienced floods which left the country not even limping. Most Haitians lived under poor conditions. While the current aid efforts are on the food, shelter and rebuilding, it will take years before the country can ever build risk –reduction structures.
So is the Wade’s offer worth looking at and even supporting? Even when there are still questions regarding what the Senegalese people think of the offer and whether the Haitians could be accepted by the locals, I find it worth a discussion.
Watching those pictures of heartbreaking scenes of Haiti people trying to pull others out of the rubble made me think this could happen back home. The pictures of helplessness of this black nation reminded of so many other helpless people I have seen back home. This beats my own helplessness from time to time.
But am still interested in what you think of Senegal’s proposal and what can Africa do for Haiti.