Award of Excellence
A violent earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and plunging the country — already ravaged by more than its fair share of catastrophes — into unimaginable chaos.
At 4:53pm the earth shook: a 7.3-magnitude quake. 250 000 to 300 000 people lost their lives, 300 000 others were injured, and 1.2 million were left homeless. The island and its people will never be the same.
A year later, not that much changed. Millions of people are living in a permanent state of insecurity and without basic supplies, water, or electricity. And everywhere, on every public square and every vacant lot, the encampments appear to be there to stay. And then there is fear: fear of a little-known sickness, a bacteria able to kill in four short hours. A bacteria no one had ever heard of : cholera. Hope has given way to frustration.
After January 12, everyone was a victim; everyone suffered in the same way. Rich and poor alike were affected and the shock was evenly distributed. With the passing of time and the stagnation of living conditions, this solidarity has given way to divisions. Then came the election campaign. The results of the first round of voting surprised everyone. People felt a great need for justice.
The coming weeks will be crucial for this country that so desperately needs calm. But the crisis the elections set off is the straw that broke the camel's back.