Gregory Sends Obama Housing Plan for Haiti
how many deaths will it take …
US Senatorial Candidate from Ohio, Eric LaMont Gregory, has sent a plan to President Obama to house some 500,000 internally displaced Haitians.
Gregory worked in humanitarian relief operations from Bosnia to Rwanda while at Oxford University where he spent more than two decades.
A year after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti the housing situation for the displaced is in a word dire, Gregory’s letter to President Obama states.
“The current outbreak of cholera on that damaged island,” according to Gregory, “reminds one that safe drinking water, the sanitary disposal of wastes, and public health are linked to the provision of basic public services.”
The United States has spent nearly 300 million dollars on relief to Haiti.
Gregory identified tens of thousands of trailers sitting near various ports around the US that could be used to address the housing shortage in Haiti.
“Although, earthquakes are rare in Haiti; hurricanes are not, “Gregory stated, “therefore any housing plan, even if temporary, must consider the environment to which the structures will be exposed. Therefore, housing that is earthquake and hurricane resistant makes sense, and will inevitably saves lives and property.”
Gregory proposed the use of trailers that are braced and anchored to the ground in a way that will allow them to withstand the torrents that visit Haiti from time to time.
Working with a group of architects, engineers and urban planners, Gregory devised the emergency housing plan based on a plan he helped to developed for a previous humanitarian crisis of similar scale.
The plan has three stages; first, the neighbourhoods have to be designed and the basic infrastructure put in place including water, sanitation and the electrical power grid. At the same time the concrete slabs and pylons to anchor the trailers to the ground will have to be established.
Technical details of the plan will be available on Gregory’s campaign website, - theoxfordscientist.com -
The second part of the plan which takes place at the same time the sites are being prepared, is to ready the trailers. This includes the all important steel braces that will envelop the trailers and help to secure them to the ground in such a way as to make them both earthquake and hurricane resistant.
Gregory stated that, “The way in which the trailers are braced and anchored to the ground could be used in this country to increase the structural soundness of all trailers especially those that are in tornado prone areas.”
The third phase of the plan is the actual installation of the trailers on site.
“The plan, Gregory explained, “can be implemented and house 500,000 displaced Haitians in about nine months time.”
When asked what the next step is, Gregory paused, let out a sigh and commented, "Well, the current administration has as a reaction to a recalcitrant legislature embraced only those things to which there is an observable 'public outcry', so if we can get the public to cry out, there is a reasonable chance that hundreds of thousands of Haitians will benefit.
And, if you are among those interested in the suffering of so many Haitians; write, e-mail, and telephone the White House and your elected representatives and let them know it."
"In 21st Century America, only the organised share in resources, and determine how American assets are to be deployed," Gregory continued, "I hope the public will respond and support this plan, it is a plan, and it is being introduced into a situation where planning is sorely lacking."
“There was, of course, premature death in Haiti before cholera, Gregory said. “The pertinent question to ask now, comes from the conventional wisdom which resounded when American hearts were melting in the 1960’s, that is, how many deaths will it take …”
Illustration of emergency housing for Haiti's internally displaced. A year after the devastating earthquake there are nore than a million Haitians without adequate housing and access to basic services. Gregory proposed the use of trailers braced and anchored to the grounmd, making them earthquake and hurricane resistant. Anchoring and bracing trailers in this way could sve lives and property in the USA, especially in tornado prone areas.