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    First Rain Batters Homeless Haitians


    by NTDTelevision

    Continuing coverage of the artermath of the Haiti earthquake. Life hasn't gotten any easier for people there. Heavy rains are now battering the earthquake-hit nation, adding to the pain and suffering of a million people still living in tents. Here's that report.

    The first rain since Haiti's earthquake has soaked the one million survivors still living in tents.

    While the showers could help to alleviate the dust from destroyed buildings, it will worsen already poor living conditions.

    Dozens of frustrated tent camp residents protested following the rain -- highlighting simmering anger over the dire need for shelter in the poorest country in the Americas.

    One woman called for the return of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who is currently in exile.

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    "We need Aristide to come to help the situation of Haiti. Aristide - we need this solution. With Aristide here, we wouldn't have the problem."

    Another local said her family was suffering and the rain just made it worse.

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    "We don't have tents. The rain has come and it is wet. We have two children - one three months old - we don't have a tent to sleep in. We don't have a house for sleeping. We didn't receive any food. The poor don't receive the food."

    On Wednesday the head of the U.S. relief effort, Lewis Lucke, said attempts are being made to prepare for the rainy season.

    [Ambassador Lewis Lucke, Haiti Relief and Recovery Coordinator]:
    "We plan to have plastic sheeting available for everyone who needs it - at least a start - of what their needs are in terms of plastic sheeting by May 1. And then, once we have everybody's initial needs, at least the start of being addressed, then we will bring in more and more after May. But the point is to protect people before the start of the rains."

    But the tropical rainy season could start within weeks, long before May 1st, saturating a landscape virtually stripped of trees and prone to deadly flash floods and mudslides.