Neighbor to Neighbor

Yesterday NPR was full of stories about the logistical nightmare of getting rescue workers to Haiti. The only airport was a bottleneck, roads destroyed. Minutes count, and the big organizations can’t get through fast enough.

Meanwhile, survivors of the earthquake are pulling away the rubble to rescue people trapped alive.

“Where is the help?” she asked. The former government employee spits the question again and again, hands on her hips. “Where is the help? Is the U.N. really here? Does America really help Haiti?”

In the absence of any visible relief effort in the city, the help came from small groups of Haitians working together. Citizens turned into aid workers and rescuers. Lone doctors roamed the streets, offering assistance.

As in other disasters, we will see endless film of dazed and injured survivors waiting for help. As in Katrina, the citizens who saved people from rooftops using rowboats and rafts will be further away from the cameras.

So check out this post, from the ground in Haiti–

Haiti–Anger and Courage in Ruins

One thought on “Neighbor to Neighbor

  1. In the best of times Haiti has been a difficult environment to accomplish anything. In the face of a disaster that would be very difficult in any organized and modern society, the fagility of the failed nation and society of Haiti is magnified terribly by the earthquake and aftershocks. Insuffiect building codes, a history of internal strife and living on the dole from other nations, rampant criminality, miserable infrastructure, primitive water supply, and all the other problems resulting in misery. This most recent horror is the result of dense populations in places where disaster was certain. The issue for the future for those who survive should be to build elsewhere. Not unlike much of California complexity of fault zones, or along the New Madrid fault line, or near the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest, natural disaster is always near. Unfortunately, Haiti is incapable of coherent responses or adequate building codes–simply rebuilding the shoddy housing in the destroyed city is as senseless as attempting to stop earth movements from happening. Equally unfortuante, after this “rescue” mission of much of the world, led of course by the U.S., there is nothing that indicates that Haiti will not fall back into the same squalor pre-earthquake. Of some interest of course is the clear emergence of the U.S. military as the only entity with the skill and resources to deal with the situation.

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