The eyes of the world may now be turned elsewhere, but Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable places on earth, battered repeatedly by earthquakes, cyclones, floods, landslides, drought, and epidemics. Hurricanes routinely knock up to 15% from GDP. The total volume of humanitarian aid to Haiti since 2001 exceeds $4billion. The challenge ahead is stark.
As nature gets more ferocious in this changing climatic era, our antidote to an increasing number of disasters has to be DRR which for the experienced Caribbean engineer, Tony Gibbs means that "great hurricanes and earthquakes (can) be experienced as fascinating and awesome events which, nevertheless, do not lead to disasters."
Haiti in January 2010, 10 days after the earthquake, was a country in shock. For days and weeks afterwards, large parts of the population devoted themselves to sifting through the rubble. It was a dangerous job, as concrete houses were still collapsing weeks after the initial quake, triggered either by aftershocks that continued for months, or by people moving rubble to try and find their loved ones, usually dead.
Proper sanitation and hand washing is the answer to child mortality in Togo, it is the starting point for the success of every other development programme that UNICEF work on. But before that we need to modernise the thinking of an entire nation. There's no point building toilets if they are not then used.