Turks and Caicos patrol picks up Haiti migrant boat

January 30, 2010
By `

More than 100 Haitians have been picked up off the Turks and Caicos Islands by marine police after trying to flee quake-stricken Haiti in a rickety boat.

The authorities in the British overseas territory said the group was being held in a sports complex rather than being sent straight back.

Haitians often risk the 90-mile (145km) journey in overcrowded boats but forced deportations were suspended last week.

An estimated 1.5m Haitians are homeless following the 12 January earthquake.

The disaster also left as many as 200,000 people dead.

Some of the Haitians on the boat stopped on Wednesday were as young as eight, the Turks & Caicos Weekly News reports.

Marine patrols were recently stepped up, the newspaper reports, because of fears that large numbers of Haitians might seek to leave their devastated country for the territory.

‘Humanitarian tragedy’

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa arrived in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on Friday with a shipment of medical aid.

Mr Correa, the temporary head of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), is reported by AFP news agency as saying the regional bloc would lend its support as Haiti rebuilds.

“This is a tragedy, a humanitarian tragedy,” he was quoted by AFP as saying.

“In this phase of reconstruction we are going to need a lot of resources – human, material, financial.”

BBC HAITIAN CREOLE SERVICE

  • Broadcasting on FM radio daily in Haitian Creole at 0910 local time (1410 GMT), for 20 minutes
  • Giving up-to-date information about where to get basic services and aid
  • Also available on satellite and online, and via social media
  • He was also expected to meet Ecuadorean troops with the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti during his visit.

    The BBC’s Huw Williams in Port-au-Prince says a new relief programme is under way, with the United Nations paying Haitians to help clear rubble from the streets.

    A UN spokesman said thousands of local people were being paid up to $20 (£14) a day under the Cash for Work programme, giving them a guaranteed wage for the foreseeable future, our correspondent reports.

    Earlier, the acting head of the UN mission in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, told the BBC reconstruction would take several decades and that all of Haiti’s recent development had been undone.

    He said the logistics of the relief effort were a nightmare, with Haiti’s inadequate infrastructure destroyed and a shortage of vehicles.

    Reconstruction was not starting at zero, but “below zero”, Mr Mulet said.

    The UN has estimated that 75% of the capital, Port Au Prince, will have to be rebuilt. Salvage crews have begun to clear the rubble.

    Meanwhile, Mr Mulet said, areas around Port-au-Prince are being prepared for the creation of tented settlements for the homeless currently living in makeshift camps.

    He said 200,000 heavy-duty tents had been ordered to cope with Haiti’s rainy season, which typically begins in May, and its hurricane season, which is expected to start around June.

    Haitian President Rene Preval earlier this week called for the urgent airdrop of 200,000 more tents and 26 million ready-to-eat meals before the rainy season begins.

    3 Responses to “ Turks and Caicos patrol picks up Haiti migrant boat ”

    1. Jerome on January 30, 2010 at

      Someone once told me that desperation breeds courage, but I am of the belief that these folks in Haiti are already some of the bravest people on earth, and were that way long before the earth shook.

    2. Jerome on January 30, 2010 at

      Oh, I almost forgot- Thank you very much for putting this site out for us to see. The rest of the news is important, but things put here in other pages were very very interesting to see, and finally, truth. That is rare in other places, but there is a lot of it here.
      God bless

    3. Michael Cillinjs on January 30, 2010 at

      Disater breeds all sorts of people.
      It shows the brave and exposes the greedy. Here these Haitians are fleeing for a better life. What Haiti really needs – for the first time – is a coherent plan to salvage the country and make it into something people do not have to flee. This may be easier said than done, but we have missed many opportunities in the past.

      Our focus on DEMOCRACY is a well-meaning crime. What the Haitians need are jobs, schools, medical help and security. Remember DEMOCRACY HAS NO CALORIES and really doesn’t do a thing for Haiti – the way it has been approached.

      On another level – disater brings out all of the greedy folks who welcome 200,000 dead Haitians as a way to make a fortune. One way air fare between Haiti and the Dominican Republic was $130.00 USD. Charter operators were demanding $10,000 after the quake. It is now down to a bargain basement $4250.00 as of Friday…. And the relief agencies were paying this out of monies sent for starving Haitian kids..

      Over 40 cents of each dollar goes to pay American military people for security in a peaceful nations.

      Something over 30 percent goes to the usual USAID boondoggles.

      And about 10 cents goes towards food.

      There is something wrong with this equation, but it is an equation that is applied wherever disaster strikes. Better to just send the food and let the Haitians fight over it without American security or useless USAID projects.