January 24, 2010

"It may have looked like no one was counting, but someone was supposed to."

Suddenly, Haiti is saying that it has collected and buried 150,000 bodies. How many remain in the rubble? Are any still alive? Consider that the internation rescue effort has extracted only 132 live human beings from the wreckage.


rhhardin said...

You'd get a low number pulled out alive if the rubble were sparse, so that those not killed mostly pulled themselves out.

Kirby Olson said...

I don't know how they're doing these number counts.

It may yet be that only 5000 people died. I don't think the Haitians probably have a census, or anything like a list of living people. They probably don't even have a tax roll for the very poor -- it would cost more to establish it than anything they might profit from by doing it.

I don't know how they are going to establish an objective number.

I really doubt if there is an objective record that would be like a Census.

Perhaps there is something like a tax record but I doubt if it's very complete, or kept updated. There is nothing there to tax for the most part and most wealth in the country is located in a few pockets. The wealthy themselves don't pay taxes, but bribe the officials to get out of paying taxes, or at least that's my understanding of the country.

The whole country is vague and the government is even more vague.

Roger J. said...

I doubt we will ever know how many unfortunate victims died in the tragedy--there is a tendency to overestimate casualty counts in the beginning of any major disaster. that tendency to overestimation results in excess equipment and supplies being dispatched and then incredulity as they sit rotting dockside.

Kirby Olson said...

The average Haitian lives on less than one dollar a day. In Obama's 100 million dollar commitment, we are already committing ten times that amount. Of course, that's only one day, and people are now saying Haiti will be a basket case for years.

The very fragile network of delivery systems that already existed in Haiti is now possibly fatally disrupted? Withou a network of deliverance, how can supplies possibly reach their intended recipients -- most of whom we have no records for -- and no address.

It must be hard to figure out how to begin to start this relief effort since a decent description of what happened can't even be drawn up. Without that, how is there going to be a prescription to remedy the situation?

I admire the people who are going forward anyhoo with nothing but optimism, and hope.

For me, Haiti fatigue is setting in, and I haven't even actually done anything but try to address the situation on a few blogs.

SteveR said...

They have no idea about anything. There is no orginizational function there now nor in reality before the earthquake.