Reporter Blames Deforestation In Haiti On Children 'Eating Trees'

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“They take all the trees down, the burn the trees. Even the kids there, they’re so hungry, they actually eat the trees,” said Jen Delgado in her weather report.

A Weather Channel meteorologist is being slammed, and for good reason, after she gave the most bizarre reason for Haiti’s deforestation.

The tiny nation of Haiti has found itself in the news after the Category Four Hurricane Matthew wreaked devastation on the island. Many meteorologists have been devoting time covering the havoc the storm left behind.

During her segment on the storm, meteorologist Jen Delgado pointed out the bare brown surface of Haiti — a result of deforestation — and suggested the island faced more risk than its neighbor Dominican Republic because it did not have the natural impediment of trees to block the storm.

However, that’s not all she said. While giving reasons for the lack of trees, Delgado said the native children were so hungry they “actually eat the trees” — a statement that is as false as it is tactless.

Haiti is a very destitute nation but that does not mean its residents should be subjected to completely inaccurate stereotype.

The statement predictably drew a lot of backlash.

Former Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe posted the weather report on Facebook and wrote: “Shame on you!! Jennifer Delgado and #Weather #Channel. Deeply disturbed by your reporting that Haitian children are eating trees! Where did you get this #info?”

“@JenniferDelgado did you witness Haitian children eating trees’” said Ronald Nephtalie Aridou. “You’re so ignorant, the reason Haiti doesn't have a lot of trees is because they use it to make charcoal. Stop watching feed the children, learn the facts!”

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The Weather Channel’s CEO David Clark issued an apology on Twitter for Delgado’s insensitive words after viewer Phedra Remarais contacted him.

“We are terribly sorry for an on air error and are taking measures to correct it. It should not have happened, period,” he said.

Delgado has also apologized for the wrong statement.

“I want to begin by apologizing for a statement I made yesterday that was found inappropriate,” she said. “My intention is always to inform and educate.”

 

However, some people are not so easily pacified. A viewer, Jonathan Francois, started a petition to fire the meteorologist. The appeal has already garnered 5,675 supporters out of the required 7,500 and will be sent to Clark to be signed.

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