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Wade's humanitarian gesture

Jan 18, 2010, 12:45 PM

The announcement by the Senegalese presidency that the West African country will offer free land and "repatriation" assistance to people affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti is, indeed, timely and humanitarian.

The move comes at a time when thousands, including women and children, are in dire need of assistance from all parts of the world, including here in Africa, where Haitians are believed to have originated.

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

The presidency, according to reports, is ready to offer victims of Haiti’s earthquake parcels of land - even an entire region - depending on how many Haitians come.

Not only is Wade's gesture commendable, but should also be emulated by all peaceloving and humanitarian Africans, especially those at the helm of affairs.

Reports revealed that last 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.

Considering the thousands of people, mostly young children and women, who are victims of the unfortunate incident, the provision of aid of any kind should be a matter of urgency.

Women and children should be given priority as they are in most cases the most affected when such mishaps occur.

Reports also revealed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the highest-ranking Obama administration official to visit since the magnitude-7.0 quake struck last Tuesday, met Saturday with Haitian President Rene Preval, and promised that U.S. quake relief efforts would be closely coordinated with local officials.

The Obama administration should also be commended for its urgent relief effort.

Countries should be ready to offer relief aid to victims of such incidents, since what happens to someone today can happen to anyone the next day.

Haitians need food, water and clothing following the catastrophic earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands of people.

This will, no doubt, contribute in giving them renewed hope in live.