Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Matthew's wrath in Haiti and United States on death and destruction hydropolitics

Hurricane Matthew slams into Les Cayes, Haiti



Haitian children holding hands and examining the extent of the flooding and destruction left by Hurricane Matthew. Photo by CBC Canada.

Hurricane Matthew has died literally after it arched its way from Haiti all the way up to North Carolina in the United States. Matthew disappeared off North Carolina's flooded coast a by Oct 5th. The destruction the hurricane left hasn't been match since Hurricanes Felix, Katrina and before since Ike. As been said before, the Carribean generally absorbs and acts as an unofficial barrier to destructive hurricanes heading towards the United States. This is not by the Caribbean countries' choosing but by water systems and the ocean currents' designs. Haiti has been the hardest hit out of all the countries in the hurricane's path. Cuba has a long history of life saving hurricane evacuation systems going back decades. Unlike the stubborn Florida and Carolina residents, when a nationwide evacuation is called, most Cubans heed the warning and evacuate. As a result, Cuba has been spared the deaths of Hurricane Matthew. Cuba's immediate neighbour Jamaica was spared but not its eastern neighbour Haiti. The deforestation of Haiti and soil erosion, ongoing since French colonial rule in the 18th century, could explain why natural disasters strike Haiti so often. The Dominican Republic lost four people despite not being the eye of the hurricane.

The spirit of the Haitian people as told in art form.


Over 1,000 innocent Haitians have lost their lives following the departure of Hurricane Matthew. When the death toll was first read, most people were shocked by the unbelievable lost. Multiple Haitians are mourning their loved ones and are gradually contemplating what to do and where to go next. There are few places to go on the small island. South west Haiti was submerged under water when the hurricane hit. The cities of Jacmel, Jeremie, Port Salut, Les Cayes and other smaller towns that were in the process of ongoing reconstruction from the 2010 earthquake were again destroyed. As Mother Nature hasn't insulted Haitians enough, now the country has to deal with a possible cholera crisis. Originally brought to Haiti by the UN Nepalese troops in 2010. The UN has since acknowledged its mistake if mutedly. Cholera has resurfaced following the hurricane. Prior to the UN troops "accidentally" spreading cholera into Haiti, Haiti had no history of cholera. Just how West Africa had no history of Ebola anywhere in the last 200+ years.
 

When the mission becomes an Occupation

Haiti is still occupied by United Nations peacekeepers under the UN Mission MINUSTAH. The UN was brought in to act as both peacekeepers and a non violent police force immediately after the earthquake. For ordinary Haitians, the mission long ago turned into a UN occupation of the country. Most Haitians' patience for MINUSTAH troops have worn thin following the various scandals involving the troops. It is a well known rule that no country no matter how poor or rich wants to be under any foreign rule or unofficial occupation even if it is the United Nations and even if there are well meaning intentions in the beginning.

Clinton Foundation had contracts following the Haiti earthquake that later were unaccounted for



Haiti has bore the burnt of climate change since the 2010 Earthquake. Thousands of Haitians have been resettled and have gone back to somewhat normal lives: children are in school and adults are working. However thousands of Haitians are still homeless and living in camps some seven years after the earthquake. The whole world knows that a huge chunk of the aid money and financing for the reconstruction efforts ended up in the hands and pockets of international NGOs, foundations and corrupt officials. Siphoning aid Disaster money is nothing new nor is it unique to Haiti. The same happened in Nepal more recently. Nevertheless, ordinary Haitians have had to deal with both Mother Nature's unforgiving wrath and the former Martelly government has done little for ordinary Haitians in terms of reviving infrastructure in the hard hit cities, social services such as healthcare and education. Before Hurricane Matthew, there were constant protests against the government and the UN. Ungratefulness has nothing to do with Haitian people's protest. Their grievances against corruption, marginalization, self serving politicians and the insanity of the wealth gap in the Haitian capital Port au Prince and other Haitian towns and the rickety infrastructure after the earthquale drove ordnary Haitians into the streets. Now the hurricane has again displaced thousands of Haitian families in shock and stress over the ongoing affects of nature.

In the United States, 27 people were killed in the five southern states: Florida, North and South Carolina and Georgia. Matthew not only ripped up sand dunes and levels acting as natural barriers against the hurricane and floods, it also exposed rusted and old cannon balls left over from the American Civil War from 1860-1865. The United States hasn't suffered from a civil war since but the current crazy presidential elections and ethnic tensions (yes, in international context the United States has a long stand ethnic conflict that has been boiling for decades) might lead to something destructive if Trump manages to become the next president. Despite being the world's hegemonic power, the United States is not immune to civil wars or ethnic conflict. Politics aside, the destruction is just as devastating. It's been known that the United States' infrastructure has been cracking and literally falling apart for half a century. Every few years, natural disasters makes the situation worst. The water infrastructure can't stand the mammoth smashing of today's bipolar hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Buildings and houses have been retrofitted with earthquake and flood proof material. Still, Mother Nature is the stronger one. The long praised interstate system has patches, rickety in some states, pot holes and is constantly in construction. still follows the art deco style of the 1950s. There is no equalivent to the Trans Siberian Railway in the United States. Even Amtrak (from San Francisco to Chicago) doesn't cover the distance frm Moscow to Vladivostok. As for bullet trains in the U.S. that has been in debate for decades as well. The state governments have been working to revive and update the freeway and train systems. Compared to infrastructure in Japan, UAE, Singapore or Europe, U.S. infrastructure is 60+ years old and hasn't kept up with more 21st century infrastructure that has passed the interstate by. This is not exaggeration either. As much as Americans are excited about new technologies, ordinary Americans are terrified of it believing that technology will one day develop a conscious of its own. Much like nature, the machines will take over humanity.

No comments:

Post a Comment