We have been following the development of two issues impacting Haiti this next week. One is the continued deployment of temporary shelters or T-Shelters and the second is Tomas, a tropical storm that is bearing down on the island.
While still suffering from a Cholera outbreak, Haiti now faces another test. A test of human will and a test for the various T-Shelter designs.
It appears that on Wednesday Tomas will reach Haiti with winds capable of stressing even the best designed temporary home. It is sad that this is the way we find out what works and what doesn’t in shelter for the homeless.
We don’t want to think about what the storm will do to the flimsy tents…
Tomas may become another “two-steps-backward” moment in the march to find reasonable solutions for the million-plus homeless Haitians.
Unfortunately Tomas will demonstrate how important it is to get the rubble removed, fix the land ownership issues and start building permanent housing for the people.
Because of the location of the island, storms will always be a test for the people of Haiti. This fact makes better construction practices and materials even more important for Haiti.