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U.N. Haiti Mission Should Acknowledge Waste Dumping And Apologize For Cholera Outbreak

Yves Engler, a Canadian writer and author, writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” blog that local citizens and investigative journalists have alleged that the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) dumped feces and other waste in holes a few feet from water used for drinking and bathing in the central plateau city of Hinche on August 6 and again 10 miles from Hinche on August 21, as well as cites a report (.pdf) stating that sewage disposal at the U.N. base near Mirebalais 10 months ago caused a devastating cholera outbreak.

“Despite a mountain of evidence collected from local and international researchers, the U.N. refuses to take responsibility for the cholera outbreak” and last week “released a statement claiming they had no reason to dump waste since the base in Hinche built a treatment plant and sewage disposal on 15 June,” he writes, adding, “Besides immediately halting this dangerous practice, the force should apologize for introducing cholera to Haiti. And to make that apology meaningful, the U.N. should compensate Haitians by making the country cholera-free through massive investments in the country’s sanitation and sewage systems” (9/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.