Friday, March 5, 2010

Borders are Artificial Delineations -- Breaking Down Barriers to Help Stop Human Suffering

So many possibilities and solutions squandered away in Haiti. Engineers Without Borders is trying to help communities and government agencies work on recovery, rebuilding and sustainability in Haiti after 300,000 have died and a country has been virtually destroyed. Not hope, not intent, not the people power, those three have not been totally destroyed. But so much now is being learned by the so-called "Haiti Earthquake Response," by the missteps, by the huge mistakes.

Engineers Without Borders-USA was founded in 2000 and today has 300 chapters across the country.

Then there's Architects Without Borders:
Below is a list of organizations you can contribute to:

Habitat for Humanity
Architecture for Humanity
The American Red Cross
World Vision
Doctors Without Borders
Mercy Corps

From the report --
A distinction is usually made between immediate measures taken to support life and
sustain morale, and the later activities dedicated to re-establishing the economic, social and cultural life of the people concerned and rebuilding damaged areas. In this book, the first group of activities is called relief, while the second is collectively referred to as recovery.

There is no clear-cut boundary between the relief and the recovery periods. It is
important to emphasize that the disaster-management cycle is an unbroken chain of
human actions whose phases overlap (see Chapter 1). Since the disasters change social,political, economic and even demographic realities irreversibly, there can be no return to the predisaster situation. In addition, people begin almost immediately to rehouse themselves and to re-establish their social and economic networks after a disaster (Bates,1982; Aysan & Oliver, 1987; Oliver-Smith, 1986a, 1991). Certainly, by the time the relief phase is changing into recovery, most people have very clear ideas about what they want to do to rebuild their lives. It is essential to take their views into account when planning for recovery.

Sustainable development

The World Commission on Environment and Development (also known as the “Brundtland
Commission”)has defined “sustainable development” in terms of livelihood security.
A system is sustainable if it provides all people with secure livelihoods, in ways that do not compromise the ability of future generations to achieve secure livelihoods (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987a).

Livelihood is defined as access to adequate food and cash to meet basic needs. Security refers to secure ownership of, or access to, resources and income-earning activities,including reserves and assets to offset risk, ease shocks and meet contingencies. Sustainable refers to the maintenance or enhancement of resource productivity on a longterm basis (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987b).

Throughout this book, three key concepts are continually emphasized:

— organization that is responsive to local needs;
— improvisation;
— incremental improvement.

These three principles can and should be carried over into the period of full repair
of infrastructure, economic rehabilitation and physical reconstruction of neighbourhoods and communities, and become a permanent feature of sustainable development.

Table of Contents --

Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters: A PRACTICAL GUIDEEdited by B. Wisner & J. Adams

1. About this book 1
2. The nature of emergencies and disasters 9
3. Predisaster activities 24
4. Emergency response 42
5. Recovery and sustainable development 71
6. Shelter and emergency settlements 85
7. Water supply 92
8. Sanitation 127
9. Food safety 148
10. Vector and pest control 158
11. Control of communicable diseases and prevention of epidemics 168
12. Chemical incidents 175
13. Radiation emergencies 191
14. Mortuary service and handling of the dead 198
15. Health promotion and community participation 202
16. Human resources 216
· References 221
· Websites 235
· Annex 1 WHO model of country-level emergency planning 237
· Annex 2 Equipment and supplies for environmental health activities
· in disasters and emergencies 240
· Annex 3 Accidental pesticide poisoning 243
· Annex 4 International and national actions in response to a radiation
· emergency 245
· Annex 5 Selected information from the International Basic Safety
· Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for
· the Safety of Radiation Sources 248
· Annex 6 Checklist of hygiene practices that protect health in
· emergencies and disasters

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