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Have we Forgotten about Haiti?

Posted by personaltrainersscottsdale.com | Posted in Culture and Entertainment | Posted on 27-07-2010

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As news of the BP oil spill remains dismal, the other environmental disaster that brought the world’s attention to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti earlier this year has faded into the background. Catastrophe has struck elsewhere, and we have another tragedy to amend. But what is happening after the January 12th earthquake now?

The country is repairing itself, albeit slowly. As hurricane season approaches, Haiti braces for further natural devastation. With the deforestation of Haiti’s countryside by natives using the trees to produce coal, all the loose soil forms damaging mudslides. Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization that provides tree-planting services around the world, began replanting efforts in Gonaives, a city in the mountains sheltering thousands of Port-Au-Prince refugees. Newsweek reports, “Without trees to protect the soil, rains have washed it down into rivers and streams at a rate of 36 million tons per year. Sediment buildup has polluted drinking water and choked the life out of once bountiful fisheries. And without soil to absorb the rain, water tables have dwindled precipitously, adding a string of droughts to the country’s woes.” Once trees are replanted, the countrysides will be more protected from mudslides and natural pollution as the earth becomes more solid. The trees will also supply fruits to sell, giving Haiti’s economy a desperately needed boost.

While there is some positive news in Haiti’s recovery, there is still much to be accomplished. According to an article on CNN.com, the majority of recovery money pledged to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake has not been delivered. Over 5.3 billion dollars was promised during a conference in March, but only four countries have come through in aid so far. America is one country that still has not delivered – Bill Clinton, former United States president and a United Nations special envoy for Haiti, speculates, “I think they’re all having economic trouble, and they want to hold onto their money as long as possible.” The United State’s pledge has not gone through because, “the money [is] tied up in the congressional appropriations process.” Clinton publicly vowed this week to deal with each country individually, hoping to make some progress in the aid gathering.

Technically, pledges were made for the fiscal (not calendar) year 2010-2011, leaving countries some time to get the promised money to Haiti. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later, in order for preparations for the coming storm season to be completed.

As for the citizens of Haiti, the damage is still prevalent. Body parts are still being discovered among the rubble of Port-Au-Prince, and citizens are crowded into camps. Some have struck out on their own, using pieces of debris to build rough houses they hope will offer some protection from the elements.

How to help:

Help Haiti Now – An organization that has helped Haiti since 2005. Search here for where to make donations, updated news, etc.

Cause Cast Store – Through this website, you can purchase items needed in Haiti and other regions that need assistance.

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund – The former presidents came together to form a super organization to aid the Haiti relief effort. Donate here, and learn more about the efforts being made in Haiti soil.

Music for Relief – Rockers Linkin Park started this non-profit organization, offering ways to aid natural disasters around the world. Music for Relief now offers exclusive unreleased tracks for download from the likes of Slash and Peter Gabriel, all profits going to Haiti. The website offers some cool merch, too.

In other Haiti news, there’s been buzz that former Fugees member and Haitian-born entertainer Wyclef Jean is considering running for president of the country. Hey, if Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger can run California, we think Wyclef might be up for the challenge. Mylifemybody.com salutes you, Wyclef.

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