As Digicel continues to work around the clock to restore vital communications in Haiti, the company today expressed grave concern that flights carrying the necessary experts and equipment are not able to land at Haiti’s international airport.
A fully operational communications network is of critical importance to the relief efforts that are currently underway and, to date, four flights carrying Digicel technicians and equipment have been turned away from the airport in Port-au-Prince.
Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, said: “We have been in contact with the United Nations and numerous NGOs who are telling us that restoring Haiti’s communications network is a vital first step in this relief effort. It is critical that our planes carrying all the necessary equipment and technicians be allowed to land in Haiti.”
Following the earthquake on Tuesday, January 12th, Digicel deployed a team of technical experts to Haiti. Digicel’s three switches – which serve the entire country – have been assessed by the team and they are operational. However, a number of sites have been damaged – specifically some roof top sites in Port-au-Prince. Congestion also continues to be an issue which Digicel will be able to resolve once the necessary equipment arrives.
“Over the past three days, our teams – both on the ground in Haiti and around each of the countries we operate in – have been working around the clock on the relief effort for Haiti. The response from our customers has been incredible and we have received a wave of donations which we are using to send emergency aid such as food, water and medical supplies to NGOs on the ground in Haiti. It is vitally important that we keep this momentum going over the coming days,” Mr. O’Brien added.
In addition to the equipment and technicians that Digicel is trying to send to Haiti, a 30,000llb cargo of medical supplies, food and water is ready to be dispatched from Jamaica once the situation in the airport has been resolved.