Thursday, December 6, 2012
7 News Features: Help for Haiti - Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe
7News sitting down with Haiti's prime minister as the anniversary of the earthquake draws near. And he's sharing a vision which he promises will transform his nation. 7's Nicole Linsalata live in the plex with the final installment of her reports from Haiti.
Laurent Lamothe: "The good news is we will rebuild."
But on this day in Port-au-Prince, a building is coming down.
At a nostalgic view of Haiti's National Palace that exist on Youtube...history is far more harsh.
The Palace and the adjacent park is the focus of Haiti's tumultuous and sometimes violent politics
And then, January 2010...the earthquake left the Palace a disjointed pile of rubble. The dome literally, hanging.
Massive tent cities emerge just outside the gates, but not that palace is no more.
Laurent Lamothe: "It makes sense to basically bring it down completely and think of the future. So that is what we did."
Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said President Michel Martelly is focusing on rebuilding the poorest country on the western hemisphere, where about the population lives on less than $1 a day.
Laurent Lamothe: "One of the major priorities is job creation. As you know we have a 75 percent unemployment rate here."
One way to do that he says is to get people to manufacturing jobs and to build industrial parks, but that cost money.
A dilemma where nearly 400,000 people still live in tents.
Jimmy Carter: "Which is really a disgrace for the international community coz they haven’t come forward with the money that they promised to Haitian people."
The Prime Minister says money raise through new cell phone taxes have paid for nearly 1 million children to be able to go to Haiti's schools, which normally that charge a fee. Although critics dispute the numbers.
And then there is hunger. Lack of health care, even garbage in the streets.
Laurent Lamothe: "We are picking up 62 percent more garbage then we were four months ago. And we still have a long way to go. We have a lot of will to tackle the problems and we have a lot of good friends."
While the cupula of the National Palace dome rest on the ground, cracked and ready to be carded away, 90 minutes away in Leogane, a hopeful symbol of the future.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers using their own time and their own hands to build 250 new homes for grateful Haitian families.
A woman showed us a picture of her family, "Please remember us," she said, "Please remember us."
The U.S. government as well as other investors have already joined in the construction of a massive industrial park in Haiti. The costs of many other projects the Haitian government is planning will be covered by International Debt Relief as well as a controversial arrangement with Venezuela based on oil sales.