Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Compensate Haitians for cholera crisis

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The BBC is reporting that the United Nations (UN) has admitted that after much-detailed investigations, the Nepalese troops that were under its command and which were stationed in Haiti a few years ago were in fact responsible for the cholera outbreak that killed several thousand people.

Now that these investigations have pinned the blame for the outbreak on the UN, it is now only right that the UN compensate the Haitians for what happened.

However, before some of us jump on the bandwagon and damn the UN for not wanting to accept responsibility for the outbreak years ago, when so many Haitians, and others, were demanding that the UN was at fault then, let me state that the position that the UN took then, when all of the commotion about blaming the UN was high, was right.

Because of Haiti's fragile public-health system, the UN, and a lot of other people, including me, were right, at the time, to suspect that those Nepalese UN troops were being made scapegoats for the cholera outbreak in Haiti at that time.

Anyway, the UN did not completely drop the investigations into the ultimate cause of the outbreak, and, indeed, now that it has done the honest thing and admitted that its troops were at fault, right is right, and it must now be honest enough to compensate those Haitian victims' families, as originally demanded.

MICHAEL A. DINGWALL

michael_a_dingwall

Kingston