by Dimiter D.
A newspaper style essay addressing the need for Technological fix in Haiti.
| Haiti is the disaster hotspot of all the hotspots there are worldwide. Annually it is riddled by hurricanes and earthquakes with ‘Ike’ and ‘Jeanne’ bringing more than enough grief to the residents of Haiti. Nonetheless, in January 2010, a quarter of a million people were destined to find their demise. ‘’Destined’’ however, should not be interpreted as the God’s will at all. ‘’Destined’’ should be looked upon as the apocalyptical failure of Haiti to prepare for, and cope with such catastrophic events.
For many people, coping with disasters is just a matter of luck and running fairly fast. When a disaster strikes though, one realises that dodging a hazard, and surviving it is not a doddle. This concept is unfathomable to many, because even I myself believe that if something is to happen now, I would be perfectly safe by running outside. And that is the problem with all of us. We always think that we will be jolly fine, and that the devil shall never stumble in the tangled misfortunes of the so many underprivileged poor souls in Haiti, or anywhere else for that matter.
This country is extremely Environmentally Deterministic, and we believe that God shall always be there for us, and that is true of course. He is our guiding light, but not our all time saviour. He grants us with opportunities which we shall have to exploit in order to survive. We cannot expect salvation to be served ready cooked on a plate for all of us to consume. We have the ingredients to bring about salvation, and we must use to opportunities that God provided us with, and the main ingredient is of course Technology.
All these years we have suffered through a variety of disasters, praying to God, not realising that he provided us with what we asked for – help. Technology has to be used in order for sustainable living to prevail, and become a part of our lives. ‘’What is this technology then?’’ – you might ask.
It is anything from early warning systems, to improved merit goods served in the form of prepared and well equipped emergency services.
Many will object by stating these changes will not make the slightest bit of difference, but the fact of the matter is that they will. Sadly, just last week Japan was hit by an earthquake rated at 8.9 on the Richter scale. What is more, a powerful Tsunami followed and yet, the maximum number of fatalities is not likely to topple the 2000 mark. On the other side is Haiti, which in 2010 experienced an earthquake rated at 7 on the Richter scale. Not only is it not as powerful, but the government and the people themselves were not prepared for it. The end results are crisp and palpable - quarter of a million casualties, and more than one and a quarter million homeless and displaced people.
There is no need to give an extensive list of improvements and ideas that can be implemented, because such a thing will easily reach Japan, literally. It is widely known, that the amount of capital Japan possesses is immense. However, Haiti's corruption proves to be a major issue which prevents the Haitian government from obtaining the so much needed investments in technology. This is not harsh criticism, but an appeal for change which the government needs to take care of. Just think about the lives that could have been saved a year ago if we were more willing to adapt ourselves to the Technology that has been made available to us. The infrastructure needs a massive overhaul in order for it to cope with future disasters, new building technology has to be introduced and adapted, to prevent buildings from tottering or being reduced to nothing but rubble as it was in the case of Haiti. Emergency service personnel needs to receive higher quality training with advanced technological tools, and thorough education techniques have to be introduced in schools, to raise awareness on how devastating an earthquake can be.
All is not lost however, and we can always improve for the better because a disaster may be lurking around the corner, waiting to sting us like a Box Jellyfish. All we can do is bring out the vinegar (Technology in our case) and prepare for the attack which is due to happen again sooner or later.