With quick efficiency, the camp committee in the Sitron camp in Haiti announced our arrival for a women’s gathering. Soon the women were spreading large grey tarps on the bare ground, and to our surprise, a microphone and amplifier were waiting in the middle of the space. I was amazed to see that already the camp had wired electric lines throughout the site, and indeed, a bulb was shining in a hut on the hill. Two months have now passed since the earthquake, and people have begun to settle and adapt to the circumstances with characteristic resilience. The construction of latrines was nearing completion, and groups of men were busy chopping poles to construct a large community tent for clinics, meetings, religious services and other collective events.
Sunday morning, Jayatii awoke to the sound of pattering rain drops through the broad leafy banana trees, and the slow steady dripping of water through leaky roof of her tent on the roof of the AMURTEL headquarters. In the dim, groggy light of early morning, her first thoughts rushed to the people in the camps. Most of the 11,000 people displaced by the earthquake living in the camps that AMURTEL is overseeing, are staying in huts hastily made of corrugated tin, scraps of wood, and tarps.
A surplus of tarps were still lying in the AMURTEL depot, and Jayatii’s conscience would not rest until she found a way to distribute them to the people getting wet and muddy in the slow steady rainfall. So, at 6 am, she and Ramakrsna sketched out a plan to distribute tarps to the women in the camp in Citroen. Later that morning, an AMURTEL team handed out cards to the women in the camp, and returned a few hours later in the afternoon with the tarps. When the AMURTEL vehicles arrived, the camp committee quickly cordoned off an area for the women to stand in queue, and the distribution was organized with surprising ease and efficiency. 133 tarps were distributed in about 20 minutes. Read more