Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't Forget Haiti

It's still awfully bad there...
Dorothy Moise, a 35-year-old nursing student, said she wants help leave the shack her family built after their concrete home crumbled. The metal, wood and tarp structure is better than some -- it has a jury-rigged electrical hookup for the television -- but water flows across the floor when it rains. Her 1 1/2-year-old son, Chrisley, has constant diarrhea. Her 6-year-old daughter, Sephara, is home all day because schools remain closed.
As I mentioned yesterday, Wednesday's "The Big Picture" was "Haiti, 70 Days Later." If you haven't seen that post, I respectfully ask that you take a look at some of the photos. This country has a terrible long-term memory, but Haiti is the ultimate in long term problems. I have no money to contribute, but I can use my small voice here, and ask that others not allow this horrific disaster to drift off and down the memory hole.

In positive news, with funding from the US Department of Defense, a new plan has emerged: rather than creating vast evacuation camps, Hatians may return to their homes if they are declared safe by engineers. Homes that have been destroyed or rendered unsafe will be demolished, and assistance given to remove the debris. Residents may thus return to their original neighborhoods instead of having to move to a strange new place. Currently, according to the article from today's NYT,
Some 1.3 million people lost their homes in the Jan. 12 quake; hundreds of thousands are on the capital's streets, hillsides and dangerous riverbeds with at most a tarp or flimsy wood between them and the sky.
Don't forget Haiti. Her people need us now as much as ever.

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