Saturday, September 20, 2008
HAITI NEEDS HELP
THE RAND MCNALLY WORLD ATLAS DESCRIBES HAITI AS SUCH;
BY EVERY ACCOUNT, HAITI IS A MESS. THE POOREST NATION IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, IT HAS SUFFERED UNDER GENERATIONS OF RULERS MORE INTERESTED IN LINING THEIR POCKETS THAN GOVERNING THE COUNTRY. MALNUTRITION, DISEASE, AND POLITICAL KILLINGS HAVE MADE HAITI VERY DIFFICULT PLACE TO LIVE.
And that was before it was hit by 4 hurricanes in a row.
Haiti has a life expectancy age of 50's and a literacy rate of 53%.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has endured four storms -- Hanna, Gustav, Fay, and Ike -- over the past month.
Flooding overwhelms Haiti. Please note in the following video (no sound) there are two items:
• Graphic photo segment with flood deceased
• At the end, there is a number to send donations to-- I do not know of this organization & recommend sticking with the International Red Cross~Earmarked for Haiti hurricane relief.
Much of the water remained, in some areas, and the city was unreachable by car or truck, as roads were flooded and bridges had collapsed.
Haitians 'screaming for help' after storms
"We need to send food and water and primary needs," said Jean-Pierre Gueatou, executive director of the Haitian Red Cross. "The other things, they will come later."
People trudged through city streets that were covered in murky brown water thigh-deep and higher in some places. Some residents camped out on their roofs, their clothing and blankets hung over the sides of buildings.
Drinking water is the biggest problem. "That water that everybody's been wading in -- now for days -- is contaminated with dead carcasses of animals, and cadavers of people.
The Guardian U.K. reports:
Aid agencies today warned of severe outbreaks of disease in Haiti as thousands of people remained in squalid, cramped shelters after the country was hit by three hurricanes and a tropical storm. Many areas are still without any clean water supplies. The storms brought down bridges, cutting off all roads leading in to the town making the only access by helicopter and boat.
Charlie Rowley, of Oxfam, said victims were having to endure appalling conditions.
"The situation is really dire, especially in the shelters where ... hundreds of people [are] in a very small area without any sanitation facilities," he said. "It's very dirty and the [aid] organisations are doing their best to build as quickly as possible the sanitation conditions to be able to avoid a public health crisis." Many of those who fled to the roofs of their houses to escape rising floodwaters remain there, surviving by collecting rainwater in buckets and saucepans.
Others are using whatever water they can find to live on, sparking fears of disease.
"Everything is under dirt," he said. "The people had stores, the people that did commerce, they all have to start at zero now, and they're in great despair. They've almost given up hope."
Haiti had already seen rioting over rising food and commodity prices before the storms struck.
Heavy rains, winds and mudslides have devastated Haiti's crops, worsening its already dire food situation. UN peacekeeping troops have been deployed to keep order at deliveries of food aid.
Thomas Joseph Wills, the mayor of Cabaret, another badly affected town, said people needed "every kind of help imaginable — clothes, shelter, food, shoes".
I am currently trying to get my workplace to do something major, either site wide or company wide to help Haiti.
They are in an excellent position to help- as they have ships, and actually own a peninsula in Haiti they use for a port of call for tourists. I know they helped Mexico a few years ago, after Cozumel was hit hard by a hurricane, Haiti was seriously struggling before the storms hit, and is so impoverished, it requires help from outside the country.
That top photo haunts me.