Haiti's Garbage Divers Struggle Against Cholera

When filth is everywhere, the work cleaning it up is easy to come by, making it one of the few readily available jobs in Haiti. As the nation struggles with cholera—the recent outbreak has claimed more than 1,000 lives—there are men working endlessly to minimize the risks by cleaning out the black waters of canals by hand. All over Haiti, which does not have a sewage plant, garbage festers in trash bins and tent cities, backing up the water when the rains come. “We do the bad,” said one man wading through the muck in Port-au-Prince, “and maybe people won’t get sick.” With debris floating all around them, they make little visible progress. But since it pays $112 a month, the men are happy for the work in a country crippled by unemployment. “I can’t tell you how long I was looking for a job, so when I found this I took it,” said another man who has been working in the canals for three years.