Haiti - Senegal : After the euphoric reception, the first disappointments
The problems began when officials of Centre des Oeuvres Universitaires de Dakar (COUD) wanted to dislodge this weekend from the building reserved to the Haitians, the Senegalese students who had elected unofficially home, time to pass the session examinations of October "We will not agree to be thrown outside in an period of examination, so that our places are given to foreigners, even if it is for a cause of which we recognize all the nobility..." Shouted the Senegalese students who warned that the arrival of Haitians had ignored orders to leave the premises.
After the enchantment of the welcome that President Abdoulaye Wade, had reserved last Wednesday to the 163 Haitian students, some lament the lack of cleanliness of toilets, lack of suitable housing, the questionable quality of water, lack of openness and distrust of Senegalese students and the local food that does not seem to fit all.
A young Haitian girl, under cover of anonymity said: "We expected better housing conditions, given the way we were welcomed." She regrets that the current goes wrong between Senegal and Haiti: "they [students] are not all like those who came to greet us. Some are open, others do not" but she is aware that it is for Haitians to integrate. "It is for us to reach out to Senegalese students to integrate them but we must reach out for that".
Another student said "Here, the conditions are not good, what poses problem to us, they are the toilet" [referring to Squat toilet which are equipped with bathrooms] "hygiene conditions are poor, but I think we should try to adapt because we came here to study and Senegalese President has done us a great service by taking us here".
A situation which is not unusual, according Maïmouna Yade, a Senegalese student member of the welcoming committee "is the first time they come to Africa, putting these reactions on behalf of the expatriation, while ensuring that all measures be taken to improve the housing conditions of Haitians" for their integration, we will do our best to put them at ease because they are our brothers and sisters".
A fraternity that does not appear to be shared by all students from Senegal, who while recognizing the beauty of the presidential gesture, do not share the enthusiastic vision of the President, they are confronted with problems of their daily reality, that of the 55,000 residents of UCAD, struggling to be housed properly.