13 January 2010

Rebuilding Haiti ~ Let's Finally Do It Right, Yes?

Major quakes -- or tsunamis, or typhoons, or other devastations -- will be disastrously damaging, regardless. But for people dwelling in poor constructions, lacking emergency support systems, and living in impoverished circumstances, it's totally catastrophic. Cataclysmic, really. Beyond emergency aid -- which thankfully is pouring in from goodwill globally -- let us set the stage for Rebuilding Haiti -- and doing it right, yes? Not just rebuilding the destroyed Port-au-Prince metro-area, but all countrywide. This means...
  • Rapid Solutions ~ Prioritizing essentials -- and emphasizing support for those with responsive capacity -- including fast-action as only the military can, plus modular, rapid-deploy solutions;
  • Emergency Response Systems ~ Immediate medical response by bolstering established institutions such as Partners In Health / Zanmi Lasante, sending hospital ships such as the USNS Comfort, transhipping rapidly deployable clinics, and generally deploying rugged sustainable solutions;
  • Rallying the Haitian Diaspora ~ Support my MIT colleague Rebecca Roseme Obounou and her CHES team, especially emphasizing entrepreneurship, creativity, and commerce;
  • Proper Infrastructure ~ Invest in and build up Power & Electricity, Water, Sanitation, Roadways, Ports, ICT, Mobiles, and more;
  • Enforcing Building Codes ~ Too much of the death and injury was avoidable if only available materials were combined in minimally technically acceptable ways. Let's believe in reality & results, not faith & hope;
  • Quake & Typhoon Resistant Structures ~ Let's make structures in a way savvy to the forces ravaging the region, including containerized fast-builds and sustainable villages;
  • Reforestation ~ Can we reverse the devastating deforestation that makes Haiti disproportionately susceptible to floods, landslides, and worse? Let's build on the ethos of Kenyan Nobelist Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement;
  • Sustainable Solutions ~ Including renewable energy systems such as various Development Ventures, including especially those offered by MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition D-Track Winner Bagazo;
  • Economic Regeneration ~ Haiti was once one of the wealthiest places in the Western Hemisphere. Let us all help her peoples recover that greatness and regenerate their economy and ecology of the island and all her children.
These are all achievable, compelling, and essential goals. Let's get busy rebuilding Haiti now.

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