“Yesterday we visited one of the biggest tent camps in Port-au-Prince,” Matt Bors writes:
Sprawling on a hillside, the camp is so big that it’s divided between two city parts, Delmas and Bourdon. Although the conditions people in the camp have to live in are far from ideal (and unimaginable for most of us from more fortunate parts in the world), the camp has seen a lot of improvement since its ad hoc creation right after the earthquake. Most of the tents are well-constructed, there is a market area for people to get their groceries, a sanitation area, solar powered street lighting and rubbish bins. There are broad roads throughout the camp, and canals lined with concrete-filled sandbags to channel the excess water out of the camp. A primary school and a church can be found on the premises.
The camps are becoming permanent towns, much like Chad’s giant refugee camps. Problem is, the tent cities, like the African refugee camps, are in locations never meant to support large settlements.