Haitian government wants tent cities

January 18th, 2010 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Port-au-Prince, Jan 18 (DPA) In an effort to control growing unease in earthquake-rattled Haiti, the government in Port-au-Prince hopes tent cities can be built outside the capital, aid officials said Monday.
The location of tent cities would have to be approved by Haitian officials, German aid worker Ruediger Ehrler said after a meeting between UN officials and aid groups.

The camp would have to house hundreds of thousands of homeless and include facilities such as schools and hospitals. It would need to be near Port-au-Prince to allow residents to assist in cleanup and reconstruction efforts.

Since Tuesday’s magnitude-7 earthquake, thousands of people have been sleeping on the streets of Port-au-Prince as bodies continued to be dug out from under collapsed buildings.

Haitians have expressed frustration with the pace of aid efforts and the absence of a clear response from their government. President Rene Preval remained holed up in a police station, the New York Times reported, and had yet to address the nation about the tragedy.

Meanwhile, international efforts to assist quake victims continued with former US president Bill Clinton scheduled to visit Haiti later Monday. Clinton and former president George W Bush have been asked by US President Obama to spearhead the US fund-raising effort for Haiti.

The former presidents noted the importance of making sure that Haiti is rebuilt into a functioning country with a good government, rather than restoring what was there before.

Haiti Sunday formally asked the United States to bolster security in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake. An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 US troops will be in the country by Monday, military

officials said.

The international community was bracing for a possible death toll between 150,000 and 200,000 from the strong earthquake, according to US Lieutenant General P.K. Keen, who is in command of US military relief efforts.

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