Haiti on the Edge

Been to Haiti several times now, working on various projects. Never seen anything like this, short of walking through a war zone. The Haitian people are an amazingly resilient group. Unfortunately, after 300 years of failure, much of it induced by larger, more powerful countries – there just aren’t any easy fixes.

The Cholera issue has been a disaster waiting to happen – sans any human malefactor, the tent cities are unsustainable. The earthquake which destroyed so many buildings didn’t do the creaky, antiquated, already overwhelmed infrastructure any favors. If you know what to look for driving down the street (not recommended for the faint of heart!) you will notice huge chunks of the core infrastructure are just…

Gone.

Whether storm drains, septic line, water mains, telecom facilities, or electric lines there are just huge missing chunks – some of which have been patched over with makeshift fixes which would make McGuyver proud by ever-inventive Haitians. The good news is that work crews are steadily removing the rubble. The bad news is that there isn’t anywhere to put it, and the roads system, designed for light commuter traffic now have potholes the size of Grand Canyon everywhere you go from the heavy trucks. Getting from place A to B is an adventure in spinal readjustment.

The even worse news is that sans the myriad of other problems – to fix these core infrastructure components takes years. Building a new septic plant, water treatment facility, underground distributions system, power plant(s), etc. aren’t things that, even if all the other problems went away and you could start tomorrow…

Could be done in a few months. Projects on that scale tend to take YEARS.

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