Reaching out to Haiti

 There is still a lot of work to be done in Haiti.
   If you don’t believe it, just have a chat with Cayman Islands Hospital Services Authority’s Medical Director Greg Hoeksema.
   He knows first-hand the plight of the Haitian people following a devastating earthquake last month. It is now estimated by that country’s president that the death toll will be closer to 300,000 once all the rubble is cleared and missing bodies found. We don’t say missing people because too much time has elapsed between the deadline quake and today. To find someone alive in the aftermath of the quake today would be nothing short of a miracle.
   But we at the Observer on Sunday do concur that miracles do still exist.
   What Mr. Hoeksema also now knows first-hand is that the people of Haiti aren’t unaccustomed to disasters or day-to-day difficult living. It’s just what they do.
   No matter how much aid the world sends to Haiti to help it get over this latest disaster, the abject poverty in the country will continue to run rampant unless political and social measures are taken.
   While Haiti is rebuilding some consideration has to be taken for the lack of any proper building codes in the country.
   While Mr. Hoeksema was in Haiti he walked among the masses of people. There he found a man whose job it is each day to take big rocks and break them in to little rocks, which are used in the foundations of buildings; one of the reasons why so many buildings collapsed and why so many people died.
   Haitians are accustomed to living without electricity, without running water, without the basic necessities and comforts of life.
   That doesn’t mean it is right. Once the organised chaos has settled down in Haiti there will still be much to do. Doctors and nurses who are volunteering their time in that country will have to return to their paying jobs and families; and Haiti will still be in need.
   We can only pray that as we approach Hurricane Season 2010 that the people of Haiti will be better prepared to deal with whatever else Mother Nature has to throw its way. We hope that the approaching season doesn’t lash the tiny country as it has done in years past.
   But if it does, the country can rest assured the rest of the world will once again reach out to Haiti.

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