Haitians now have 50 percent more potable water than before the earthquake; the spread of disease – which many feared could cause a second wave of disaster – has been largely contained and the Haitian government is regaining its footing....
And the largest obstacle is the 20-25 million cubic yards of debris – 20-25 times the rubble created by the destruction of New York’s twin towers – that give testament to the worse earthquake Haiti has seen in 200 years....
“To build these transitional shelters, land has to become available,” she added. “[But] every spare patch of land is covered. It’s hard to go one block without seeing damaged buildings and people in shelters.”
“The worldwide experience is people will go and stay where there are jobs or services so ultimately supporting people is going to rely on reactivating the economy and helping the government provide the basic services – health care, education, water – that people need to prosper,” Weisenfeld said.
Building that infrastructure in the short term – and sustaining the gains made in the country’s recovery – will likely be severely thwarted by the approaching hurricane season, however.
With hundreds of thousands of people huddled together in tent villages perched precariously on hillsides and other unstable land likely to turn to mud when it rains, the potential for catastrophe is exponential.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Not forgetting Haiti
Better than it could have been, but it's still not looking good: