Frustration and Anger Over Conditions in Haiti

Byron Pitts Reports On The Cholera Outbreak And Haiti's Difficult Recovery From The Earthquake

This year had already been a disastrous one for Haiti when a cholera epidemic erupted a few weeks ago that has killed over 700 people in the countryside and is spreading to the capital, Port-au-Prince. It's where millions of people live in wretched conditions - a perfect breeding ground for the waterborne disease to flourish.

This latest disaster couldn't have come at a worse time: Haiti was already struggling to recover from last January's earthquake that killed 300,000 people.

To help it get back on its feet, nearly half the households in America donated money and countries from around the world pledged billions.

"60 Minutes" traveled to Haiti to see what has happened since then and we were surprised to find how little progress has been made.



60 Minutes Overtime: Haiti
For "60 Minutes" producer Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, Haiti is more than a story. It's her homeland. "60 Minutes Overtime" talks with Magalie about her worst memory while reporting on the disaster.


Frustration and Anger in Haiti
Extra: Education and Recovery
Extra: Dr. Farmer on Haiti's Recovery
Extra: Leadership and Haiti
Link: Partners In Health

In Carrefour, a huge city on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, there is a makeshift encampment that Haitians call the "Carrefour median." It is situated - precariously - on a ten-foot wide median, sandwiched between two lanes of a busy highway.

Even by Haiti's standards, this place is incomprehensible. The camp was started out of desperation in the chaotic days following last January's earthquake.

If you can believe it, residents actually saw this as a safe haven, despite heavy traffic rumbling by just a few feet from their shelters.

Since then, the population has grown from just a handful of people to 3,800 who call the median "home."

When "60 Minutes" and correspondent Byron Pitts got to one of the tents, a woman who lives here with five other people invited us into the tiny space.

This has also been 7-year-old Jean-Edouard's home for ten months. When Pitts asked the little boy what he thinks about living there, Jean-Edouard said, "It's not good… I'm afraid of a car."

In the background, one could hear traffic whizzing by the tent-like structure.

Outside, traffic races by at breakneck speed, a few feet from where children play. A camp leader told us nearly 30 people have been hit by oncoming vehicles; ten were killed, three of them children.

Almost no government official has ever come to the encampment, so when "60 Minutes" showed up with the mayor of Carrefour ,Yvon Jerome, he got an earful.

Pitts asked him what people were saying. "Yeah, they need food. And I say to them, we're not there to give them food. We trying to get them a better place to live, but not provide them food," the mayor explained.

"But Mr. Mayor, I mean, can you even call this living?" Pitts asked.

"No, it's not living," Jerome agreed. "It's not living. They're just there. They just explain to me yesterday there's an accident right here. A baby was get hurt by a car."

"The international community has promised to give Haiti more than $5 billion. But yet these people are living on a median," Pitts pointed out.

"With newspaper, with TV news every day, I heard about the number of the money - not see the money," the mayor said.

A step up from the Carrefour median is Jean-Marie Vincent Park, the largest tent camp in Port-au-Prince. It's a city within a city, home to 50,000 people.

There's a main street with shopping and fresh water, but it is not an oasis: conditions are deplorable. With people living on top of each other, the camp has become a breeding ground for domestic violence, gangs and rapes. There are row after row of outdoor latrines, women washing clothes and children bathing in canals.

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