excerpts from Kimberly Alzuphar
Published February 1, 2009 in The Columbia Spectator
“Clear water is not always clean water!” I shout through a loudspeaker in the crowded open market of Léogâne, Haiti. “Dlo cle pa vle di dlo prop!” I have returned to my home, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with Columbia UNICEF’s project designed to address diseases found in the contaminated water of Haiti. As the 2008 CIA report states, 80 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In addition to a staggering 70 percent unemployment rate and a 50 percent rate of illiteracy on the island, almost every water source has become polluted with human waste due to the lack of a sewage sanitation system. The Pan-American Health Organization reports that more than half of all deaths in Haiti are due to water-borne diseases. As a member of Columbia University’s UNICEF, I initially memorized these statistics in order to familiarize myself with Haiti’s economic, social, and political crisis. However, the Hearts 2 Our Children in Haiti campaign taught me to place a greater emphasis on every individual instead of on statistical reports that inaccurately depict the plight of the poor Haitian population.
standard/wikipedia type definition of cholera:
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients.
today, october 25, 2010
death toll reaches 253 and cholera-related sickness estimates are reaching 4,000.
today october 25, 2010
tpg in her yoga pants, a thermal tee, and REI wool socks lounges comfortably in her ethan allen recliner, sipping fair trade coffee, mixed with organic half-n-half and reading her messages on facebook. her 850 sq foot "modular" is simplistic yet she is "current" and "hip" withher new stainless steel appliances...and her porcelin crock with a 3 gallon glass bottle filled with "reverse osmosis" drinking water she that re-fills every week for a mere .25 cents per gallon.
she is equipped with the privilege to ponder...
on january 12, 2010 haiti (already the poorest nation in the western hemisphere (gross national wage $535.00 annually) was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that evoked an out-pouring of global compassion and dollars...
using her remote control which aids her in turning on her flat screen (purchased interest-free at best buy because of her good credit score) she surfs the channels looking for the same explosive media coverage she saw back in january with regard to today's devastation of the cholera outbreak in haiti...
chandra levy trial, upcoming election, sarah palin, murder at napa state hospital, the giants return home welcome by fans, bart expansion, rain could hinder thursday's world series game, gas prices up .5 cents in 2 weeks,...hmmm. where is the coverage of this heinous outbreak she wonders? then re-warms her coffee in the microwave and checks to make sure the dog and cats have enough "fresh" drinking water...where is the coverage? why aren't we given a number to text our a $5.00 donation? she flips through the channels and acknowldges her own advantages granted to her simply because of her genetic blueprint. where is the national and global outrage?
where is my own?
asking herself these questions, she is mindful of the fact that the usa has spent a trillion (is it more now? i have lost count.) on 2 wars yet cannot meet with its allies to discuss low-cost water systems for impoverished nations such as bangladesh and haiti, to name two?
Adam Silverman writes to recommend the Mobile Max Pure, a machine that uses solar power to purify water and also produces surplus electricity that can be used for other purposes. He writes:
The systems are portable, can turn out up to 30K gallons of drinking water a day, are solar powered, and best of all generate more electricity than they use doing the filtration, so they can also be used for power generation. They can literally be dropped anywhere and come with pictorial instructions that are easy to follow. These should be standard issue for all humanitarian assistance efforts.
when will a greater emphasis be placed on every individual instead of statistical reports? more so, when will the power of love conquer the love for power?