Hurricane Matthew, Port au Prince, Haiti, 4 Oct 2016 – Despite the weather conditions some of the street vendors decided to continue with their business as usual. We could admire the determination of people of Haiti or simply contemplate over their difficult economic situation. After all, how desperate does one have to be to go on to the streets during a hurricane and risk their petite stock and most importantly health for such a small amount of potentially earned money?
Today in the wake of Hurricane Matthew streets of Port au Prince, usually extremely loud and overflowed with masses of people, vehicles, motorcycles were mostly empty and disturbingly quiet. The city itself seemed to have made it through the storm – signs of damage done by the heavy winds and rainfall were noticeable. Apparently, the biggest damage was done in the South of the country where Matthew’s Eye seemed to have stayed for a while, turning the region into its ‘playground’.
For the last few months Haiti was preparing for the presidential elections. Hopeful candidates engaged in their own campaign activities, most visibly displayed by overwhelming amount of printed posters. Posters bearing stranger’s faces soliciting other strangers to vote for them. Candidates compete for votes as well as valuable city space to post their posters, not spearing store fronts, cars, light posts, banners etc. Ironically, the presidential elections are still planned for next week despite the damage done, the scope of which is yet to be discovered in the coming days.
Unfortunately, preparation efforts to withstand Hurricane Matthew did not appear to feature heavily in this presidential campaign, leaving people to fend for themselves.