The government of Botswana has donated P1 million to the Republic of Haiti, as humanitarian aid following the devastating earthquake that took place in Haiti.
Last Tuesday, January 12th, shortly before 1700hours, Haiti was hit by a catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of over 9000Mw, centered approximately 25km from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
The earthquake, which is reported to have registered 7.0 on the Richter scale, is estimated to have claimed between 45 000 and 50 000 people, with 3 million being hurt.
The earthquake caused extensive damage in the capital of Port ÔÇôau- Prince almost leveling it; the capital is practically in ruins. The earthquake caused calamitous damage to homes and buildings. Throughout the history of Haiti the current earthquake is reported to be the largest that has rocked the area and has been referred to as a major catastrophe.
Appeals of international aid have been issued, including from Raymond Joseph, Haiti ambassador to the United States of America.
Several countries have responded to the appeals.
As of Friday evening, 19 countries had responded to the major humanitarian emergency in Haiti, with South Africa donating 1 million Rands.
US President Barrack Obama issued a relief fund of US $100 million for the stricken Caribbean country.
In a statement, Obama said “the people of Haiti will not be forgotten”.
Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, was the first country to bring aid to Haiti, easing tensions that have been growing between the two countries since the 19century.
The Dominican Republic extended their help in the form of food, bottled water and heavy machinery to remove ruble. Almost all the Dominican hospitals are overflowing with injured people.
The Red Cross has said that 3 million people require aid, ranging from shelter, food to clean water and medical assistance.
However, reports show that the arrival of aid and supplies is very slow and difficult due to the severe infrastructural damage.
The Haiti airport has no space, no fuel and no control tower thereby making the whole process of relief difficult.
The United Nations estimated that about 300 000 people were left homeless by the quake. Tens of thousands of survivors are staying in make shift camps near the presidential palace.
In a press briefing, the government of Botswana said, “This donation is a token of the friendship, goodwill and solidarity that exists between the government and people of Botswana and the government of Haiti”, to help in the rescue, recovery and reconstruction of the country in the months ahead.
During the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe last year, Botswana donated millions of pula, in addition to medical supplies and water purification chemicals.