Senegal offers land to Haiti

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 Senegal's president says he will offer free land and "repatriation" to people affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

President Abdoulaye Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, including some thought to be from Senegal.

"The president is offering voluntary repatriation to any Haitian that wants to return to their origin," said Mr Wade's spokesman, Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye.

Tuesday's earthquake killed tens of thousands and left many more homeless.

Buildings have been reduced to rubble, the distribution of aid is slow, and people have been flooding out of the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.

"Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land - even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come," Mr Bemba Ndiaye said.

"If it's just a few individuals, then we will likely offer them housing or small pieces of land. If they come en masse we are ready to give them a region."

The spokesman emphasised that if a region was given, it would be in a fertile part of the country rather than in its parched deserts, the Associated Press news agency reported.

My thoughts

Personally, I was elated when I heard the news. The first thought that crossed my mind was that the philosophy of Marcus Garvey was coming alive. He advocated for us Blacks to return to our homeland, Africa and now Haitians have a chance to walk on Africa's soil. I never been to Africa, but always thought of it as an utopia. Maybe it's because Lion King is my favorite movie and I still sob when Simba climbs Pride Rock, but something about Africa is enticing. This proposal is crucial to take under consideration since thousands or millions are left homeless; but, if residents of Haiti don't take this opportunity, I'll understand.
Because our ancestors fought, drew blood, labored, and sweated for Haiti. Many Haitians ran away from poverty, political corruptions, lack of resources, etc, migrated to land of opportunities, North America, and never looked back. I myself haven't been to Haiti in 10 years. Although I am Haitian American, born in Brooklyn, I am still held accountable for not standing up, taking the fortunate education I gained in America, and feeding knowledge to my fellow Haitians back home. With unity, Haitians can help rebuild Haiti. 

Knock Knock. Where is the government in Haiti? 
Response. No where to be found.

For years I've been running into many Haitians in the U.S. who have plans of running for president and bringing change to Haiti's economy. If these people were truly passionate about their disclaimer, now is the time. I'm aware that it's very difficult, maybe close to impossible, to bring Haiti to a prosperous state, but I believe in hope. If Haitians continue to run away, not only will Haiti lose it's culture, but Haiti will be occupied by foreigners.

I know a lot of Haitians here in the States are not opposed to the idea of U.S. taking over Haiti, but it still hits the P-spot. The pride spot. Haiti is the first Black nation to free itself from slavery, and that means something. I do believe that Haiti needs leadership. Leaders who will serve ALL people and bring forth better education, better engineering ( appropriate infrastructure), better health and legal system. Many look towards the white man to provide leadership, but what about Haitians? Can't Haitians be leaders too? Looking down the history line, I know many of the political figures in Haiti has caused great pain and suffering, but we're resilient people, and I know someone with fundamental values will step up. 

On another hand, it doesn't seem like Haitians have other choices but to leave. Many would prefer to move to DR, U.S., or Canada but borders are tight and well I'm pretty sure y'all know about immigration laws in North America...and so on so forth. Yes North America is offering (TPS) Temporary Protected Status, but it's only covers illegal immigrants who are already here. Not the victims in Haiti. So what should Haitians in Haiti do?
a. Take up the offer to settle in Senegal
b. Migrate illegally to nearby islands.
c. Stay. Move to the rural village and help the world rebuild or build back better the capital and areas severely affected.
 I pick (c) because the bottom line is that this is Haiti's chance to have a productive future. Haitians in Haiti need to focus on building themselves agriculturally. Help bring the farming sector into the 21st century.

I'm no expert so I'll keep my opinions at a minimum, but I'm still an observer and descendant who has the best interest in mind...