More about what you can do to help, let's be creative here
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 9 May 2015 19:15
This is written a couple of days ago and then things have been added along the way...
Yesterday the group (having Swedish pancakes on board Salsa) were discussing what is a real problem here, and what will be in the near future.
Doctors and medical aid will not be the big issue unless there is an outbreakof of something.
Fresh water? THEY HAVE PLENTY!
Food? That will probably not be an issue in 2-3 months from now if they do not have another weather disaster.
The other day, when Ellinor was having a clinic I was standing next to a man looking at his house that was flat as it could be, a "modern" house by Vanuatu standards.
This means that it has a concrete plattform and on top of that; they either build with planks or concrete "lekablocks".
A house like that is just trash and almost nothing can be reused, by their standards this is a wealthy house, or was.
So some people got used to live in a house more than a hut. I asked the man what he felt when he looked at the ruin.
"Sorrow" he replied, "I would be very very tyred" was my answer to that, "I have to buy new material" he sighted.
To be honest, I think if I was in the same situation I would love if somebody showed up with some tools and material and just raised a new house for me. But that would be magic, would't it? Because there are so many houses like that.
I guess if you want to help you have to help the entire village, there is some lateral thinking that needs to be done and if you have any ideas just write me an email and I will post it.
There are houses that the entire village or settlement needs, like aid posts, storages etc.
Since you are not allowed to bring in seeds (understandable), buy them in Port Vila and bring out to the villages/settlements.
They want everything you can find.
Lets also be creative and HONEST with the enviromental issue;
poor people are less poor when they can provide food from nature, poor people are much worse off in an environment that is sterile.
So if you give them a better life by using detergent for washing, you are actually killing their food supply. The detergent is known to kill coral and dead coral is not home to fish.
That is a big concern, as cruisers bring in washing machines and use them frequently inside lagoons, but we also teach others a life style that will not work for them as they have no means of recycling or cleaning chemicals. In Fiji for eample, the locals just poor out dirty gasoline in the water, they are not educated and have a sense of what they are doing to themselves (are we?).
Be more enviromental concious when you use detergents for washing dishes etc than you are at home!
We can also see that where you have resorts the coral die, they take their guests further and further away for snorkeling.
Guests demand the blue lagoon but also all the comfort you have at home, with that comes clean sheets and towels, a water toilet (which is not known of before the tourist moves in), toilet paper, electricity (there is not a grid for most parts of the Pacific islands, so a resort has to run a generator for the guests) etc etc.
Well it easy to point finger but we forget that 20 yachts in an anchorage most probably have the same impact, using toilets without tanks, running generators for more current so the freezers work, washing stuff etc... We do not talk about these things, but we should...
A problem that is rising with dirty reefs is cigueterra, a poisonous algea, in turn the ciguetera moves up the food chain and finally a person that eats that fish will become very sick, beyond any medical help. It can be everything from nerve system reacting to the opposites, to an actual painful death.
So as cruisers and aid people rush to help for the big disaster we do not want to face the slow one, and by giving help in the wrong way we might even make it worse.So again lets be creative and help people here to stay self sufficient or make them slaves of our culture and with that comes money and canned food...