Exclusive photo reportage from Haiti
by Bahare Khodabande
On Monday April 4th, 2016, a historical hotel, Le Perroquet, was destroyed by fire after the flames from the scorching hardware workshop in the neighborhood slowly expanded, burning two other residential buildings. It took the fire department more than an hour to respond.
Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, has a population exceeding 3 million and only one fire station. The streets are narrow, mostly made of only two lanes, and blocked with traffic for the most part of the day. As a result it takes the large fire trucks much longer than it should to respond to emergencies.
Port-au-Prince is also a constant scene for demonstrations particularly around the time of elections. In January after the scheduled presidential elections for December were postponed to April, protests were regularly accompanied with burning cars and sometimes setting local businesses on fire. April elections are expected to be delayed yet again and the fire department is without a doubt one of the most necessary entities that needs to step up and prepare for the consequences.