The way the cholera was brought in Haiti

The way the cholera was brought in Haiti is that the UN took 1,280 Nepalese soldiers to train in summer 2010 in Kathmandu in the middle of a cholera epidemic. They gave them very cursory exams and a 10-day leave all over the country and then brought them back to Haiti and set them up in three bases around an area where there was rice growing and tributaries to a river. One of the bases had a septic tank that was basically dripping down into, ultimately, the Artibonite River. The first thing that happened is that a bunch of rice farmers got wiped out. They got killed. It was very clear from the start that the cholera had been brought in from a foreign source. There had been no cholera in Haiti for over a hundred years. It had been brought in from a foreign source, probably the UN, and I wrote this the day after the first case of cholera became known. It turned out that there was a mayor, in Mirebalais, in the area, who had been writing to the UN demanding that they clean up their septic tank, that the smell was becoming intolerable, that this was unhygienic, and the UN wasn’t responding to him. He finally got the attention of the press. It was very clear, because the cases of cholera were down river from the UN bases, and there were no cases up river from these bases. They immediately started saying, it’s the unhygienic internally displaced people camping in Port-au-Prince who were the source of the cholera…

Cholera is supposed to be a disease of the poor and… I think the idea is that Haitians were supposed to become pariahs in the world. They were supposed to be dirty and to have disease. It was Haitians who found it. Haitian epidemiologists collected the information about the cholera, and they put together forces with a French epidemiologist, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who made it known to the world that the cholera happened in a very pristine area of Haiti, not in the displaced-person camps at all.

— Dady Chery, Dady Chery and Eric Draitser Discuss Imperialism and Colonialism in Haiti

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