#265 rebuilding haiti

For one living the other side of the globe, I glean understanding from the actual footage of catastrophe or apocalypse through the media — read, hear and see from videos and pictures.

In the US, since 911, the rebuilding on the former World Trade Center site is yet complete. I wonder about this situation in Haiti.

To rebuild Haiti from scratch is a monumental task. Who will take the initiative? Who can come up with a masterplan to help in the rebuilding? Which comes first? The infrastructures or housing? Or both these got to be built at the same time?

Accordingly, funds are available to help those survivors. How are these funds managed?

BBC’s journalist, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes gave a candid and factual record of the situation today on — Haiti’s ‘ghost’ tent villages:

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8488728.stm.

One thought struck me: Since tents are not available for all the survivors, why not supply the basic building material for the Haitians who live in the outskirts of the city to rebuild their own homes?

Offer alternatives…not just suggest building temporary tents to tie Haitians over the forthcoming monsoon period!

Ask the Haitians how they can help themselves?

Surely the Haitians want to help themselves. They know how to build for their own survival. Many had survived before the quake, surely given whatever raw material to help these folk to help themselves through — which might cost just as much as for those NGOs to building interim tents. Or, am I a little naive?

Let’s help the Haitians to help themselves to their feet. I’m sure many are still in state of shock but when there is something to fix their minds and hearts upon — when they are able to build their own temporary quarters, miracles might happen — there will be greater self-respect and hope.

#264 possible quake predicted 2 years ago

No one expected an earthquake to break out in Haiti even though she was warned 2 years ago by scientists a quake was possible. No one believed this could happen as there was no quake for the last 200 years in its natural history. No one was prepared for this tumultuous magnitude.

The 7.1 magnitude Richter scale earthquake literally wiped away the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince — its infrastructures and all government buildings; presidential palace, justice palace and the churches and cathedrals and the 5-star hotels…many, many others. These buildings were supposed to withstand the quake but… Naturally the loss of human lives outweighs all — the nationals (an estimate of 150,000 or more dead in a city of 3-4 million people without mentioning those homeless and missing), foreigners and peacekeepers.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the West, if not in the world. This is the result of greed and corruption of governing leaders who thought of themselves rather than the people. Is this one ugly face of democracy?!

The aerial view of the island is made up of Dominican Republic and Haiti. On the Dominican Republic, it’s green but on the Haiti side, it’s brown, little vegetation. Were the people in Haiti so poor that they exhausted that they could find in order to survive? Interestingly, the quake whose epicenter struck close to the Haitian capital did not affect the Dominican Republic.

However the Haitians are resilient. One witnesses those surviving are grateful they are alive.

Children as young as a few years old were rescued from the rubble after several days without nourishment or liquid; a few elderly in 70s and 80s; and the one in his 20s after 11 days! One cannot underestimate the will and  inner strength of man…

Looting was evident in all places of tragedy when aid was slow in coming after several days fled by.

Though the promised aid was forthcoming but food and water was slow…so very, very, very slow in reaching the people in need…naturally a hungry man is an angry man.

How do you survive and keep sane and good when your loved ones are missing or dead? Dead bodies strewed everywhere. The stench in the air. People are in state of shock. Rubbles strewed all around. Buildings collapsed. No home to return to. Literally nothing!

My impression of Haiti was Haitians practised voodoo which is one black magic or dark forces which even seeped into the churches – the Catholic cathedral and the Episcopalian cathedral! Can this quake wipe out this voodoo practice?!

Can Haiti start from ground zero? I know the people have the ability but… Will the necessary aid and billions of funds raised get to the people there?  (I hope NOT those American contractors assigned to build Haiti though!) Are there good and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice themselves for nation-building?

On Russia Today Spotlight tv program, I heard an interview where this young Haitian student working on his postgraduate in Russia is very articulate in his understanding of his own country and insight into the devastation.

Those Haitians studying overseas will not be able to receive funds from home any more…

I pray for God to raise good, upright and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice for the new breed of Haitians.

#258 keeping a soldier in Afghanistan

Staggering! The US administration spends a million dollars a year to keep one soldier in Afghanistan! How true is this?

Can the Afghans appreciate such sacrifice of a life and resources spent?

Is this what it means to police and maintain peace in the world?

#257 transparency?

The US President Obama announced his strategy is to withdraw the US troops from Afghanistan in July of year 2011. This might assure and boost their morale but…

Hmmm…how would the enemies receive this news?