Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

FOROM AYITI : Tèt Ansanm Pou'n Chanje Ayiti.
 
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 Haiti’s storm battle a lesson we must learn

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Nombre de messages : 7722
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, literature kréyòl
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

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MessageSujet: Haiti’s storm battle a lesson we must learn   Mar 23 Sep 2008 - 18:56

Haiti’s storm battle a lesson we must learn
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By Ed Wells
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Sep 21, 2008 @ 11:54 PM

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Gustav, Hanna, Ike —powerful storms that caused havoc through the Caribbean and parts of the United States. It is hurricane season so storms like these should be expected. However, with these storms the wind was at times a minor problem. The real problem was the rain that accompanied the storms.

As I’m writing this, it has rained for three days in Rockford, a steady rain that doesn’t seem to want to stop. We in the Midwest are soaked, but at least in many places we have trees. We have something to soak up the water and hold the soil in place.

I wonder what it would be like here in the Forest City if we didn’t have the trees. Where would we go to escape the water from the rain? Maybe we would begin to look like Haiti, an island country, one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, and one that misused one of its most precious resources, its trees.

The government of Haiti, if you want to call it a government, allowed its trees to be cut down.

Most of the trees were shipped outside of the country to other lands for lumber and firewood.

Now Haiti is an ecological nightmare.

There is nowhere for the water from recent storms to go. So the water sits, and the people of Haiti wade in the now poisoned standing water searching for a dry place to pick up their lives and try to start living again.

I saw the scenes on television — people with no hope in their eyes, people struggling through water, water everywhere.

This is what happens when people with power, people who own the land, are poor stewards.

Haiti, quite simply, is a country that has shown it cannot or will not act in the best interest of its people. It is a country that doesn’t deserve its own governance.
It is a country that needs outside intervention. It is a country that needs its trees.

Maybe it is not our place to intervene. The United States has shown its inability to inspire countries in its own hemisphere. With our history in the Caribbean and South America, I can understand why some countries do not trust us. But something must be done to ease the suffering of Haiti.

The country needs something radical and far reaching, something that, perhaps, only the United Nations can do.

Haiti must start on an immediate reforestation plan — a plan that will include every citizen of Haiti, a plan that will plant and nurture new trees, a plan funded and overseen by the United Nations.

Without this effort I see only more misery for Haiti — more famine, more disease, and more suffering. Where do you go when the water rises? Where do you go when the mud runs down the mountains?

Haiti’s battle is a lesson we all should learn from. The forests are mankind’s friends. If Haiti is to survive with a hopeful future, their forests must return. And other countries must learn from this disaster.

Ed Wells of Rockford writes a weekly column for the Rockford Register Star. If you would like to comment, e-mail opinions@rrstar.com

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