Sunday, November 14, 2010

He Should Be Mad: "Haitian Government, Release Those Containers!"

After watching the weak 60 Minutes report on Haiti this evening, I feel validated in my opinion that Haiti's government doesn't know what it's doing and also an awful sense of deja vu. Part of the story focused on a man from South Africa with the 7th Adventist Church who is building housing in Haiti. His organization had shipped containers filled with building supplies to Haiti for 1,200 temporary houses. However, the 24 containers were sitting at the Haitian port where they had been for months, despite the South African having all the necessary documentation and a $6,000 check to pay the Haitian government for storage costs.

When the 60 Minutes correspondant Byron Pitts described this situation to the Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, he agreed with the Pitts leading statement that obviously something had not been done properly or the containers would have been released. (Nice hard hitting reporting)

Shortly after the interview, the containers were released. The South African was told the containers had been missing a Haitian government seal. Yes, for months the containers filled with materials to build houses for people living in tarps were held up because they lacked a government seal. Why did Pitts not press Bellerive on what was either a lie or gross incompetence?

The old, missing seal story is a familiar one to us. After our son Luke's adoption was completed by the Haitian court, the papers had to make the rounds of many Haitian ministries for their seal. In one case, we were told the stamp was broken and they had to send to Germany for another stamp. I kid you not.

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