By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
HAITIAN Chargé D’Affaires Dorval Darlier has urged the Minnis administration to evacuate as many people as possible to New Providence as there is no place for them to live in Abaco.
While he said the Haitian government has given him the green light to assist in any way possible, Mr Darlier said those in Abaco would be better off in the capital. Many Haitians who resided in The Mudd shanty town in Abaco, which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, are now in deplorable conditions, forced to take shelter in the few surviving structures, like the government complex in Marsh Harbour.
Many of them are packed into offices in the complex, sleeping on the floor and desks. There is no electricity or running water in the building. When The Tribune was on the island this week, this newspaper witnessed storm victims in unhygienic conditions, due to people urinating and defecating in open areas and being forced to bath in rain water.
Wet clothes were hung out to dry on the railings of the building.
Aware of the immediate need for help, Mr Darlier said he did not know how many people in the Haitian community were left without homes.
“If there is no place for them to stay, you have to bring those people here or make shelter for them,” Mr Darlier said when he was asked if evacuations from Abaco were needed. “Even if I bring some goods down there, where are they going to shelter? Where are they going to live?
“I think the best plan what the government can do is move. Those they can move from Abaco make a shelter for them here for them to give them assistance for whatever they need.”
Mr Darlier said now is not the time for flag colours or to highlight who is Haitian and who is Bahamian.
“Everybody is in need. It’s not about Bahamians, it’s not about Haitians, it’s not about the flag colour as the prime minister has said.
“It’s all about to help. Whatever it is, I am going to charter a plane right now. I don’t even need to go to the US. So whatever I can find in Super Value I will put them on the plane.
“I have the funds right there. The government gave me the green light to go. That’s what I am here for.”
Mr Darlier said Haitians and Bahamians have all contacted him for help.
“The president in Haiti he tell me whatever I have in the embassy just put it to assist the people who are in need down there.
“I received a lot of calls this morning. I received calls from the Haitian Bahamians. I received calls from the Haitians down there even from the Bahamians because I was live on Facebook and they told me they are in need.
“I think the government should know that there is a lot of people in Treasure Cay – that’s why I put on my Facebook ‘SOS in Treasure Cay.’ There is a group of people stuck down there who really need help.”
• The call for evacuation was mirrored by people at airports in Abaco last night, with locals urging the government to undertake a major airlift to take people off the island.