Survivors of the Haitian earthquake are leaving the devastated capital city. Some of its inhabitants have managed to leave on trucks that belong to the UN. Many are leaving the city in search of food, water and medicine. Aid has been slow to reach people because of bottlenecks caused by poor infrastructure. In an effort to get more supplies into the country, America has been given control of the airport in Port-au-Prince.
There have been ugly scenes at aid distribution points, as people fight for whatever is available. There have also been widespread reports of violence and looting as desperate people search for food and water.
The UN’s World Food Programme has set up four aid distribution sites in the capital. The organisation is giving out special biscuits, but the people do not realise the biscuits are different. One aid worker said: “They don’t understand these are high energy biscuits fortified with vitamins with an expiry date of November 2010.”
The estimated death toll now stands at 140,000, and managing the bodies is one of the top health priorities. Morgues were filled up early on. 40,000 bodies have been buried in mass graves. Now some Haitians are taking matters into their own hands and burning the bodies on rubbish tips along with other waste.