New Innovations Help Haiti - Sustainable Solutions Created by Team of International Experts

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Temporary camps are turning into permanent settlements

Several Dominican companies together with local and international volunteers have stepped up their efforts to help the earth quake victims in Haiti. One great example is "Camp Sosua", 6 kilometers out of Port-au-Prince, where over 13,000 people have been relocated and accommodated. "Camp Sosua" has been created by individuals and companies based in Sosua - a small sea side town on the North Coast of Dominican Republic.

The Camp has been active since 10 days after the devastating quake hit Haiti on the 12th of January. Food, water and medical supplies are continuously provided by handful of people and companies in Sosua. Recently some international humanitarian organizations have participated in these efforts. The future plans for Camp Sosua include some ground breaking ideas, that could solve many of the key problems in the developing countries. One of the most devastating problems in all disaster areas is the lack of waste management, which is particularly dangerous in tropical climates, like the one in Haiti. Deadly diseases get easily out of control and the lack of refrigerated storage, and washing facilities make things even worse.

With the help of a group of international architects and engineers, a solution has been found to solve all these problems. DSD takes the leading role in the development of sustainable solutions in Haiti. DSD group (http://www.dsdimport.com) has played a key role in ramping up and sustaining the efforts to help the victims in Haiti. DSD's dispatchment center in Sosua sends truck loads of food and other supplies every week to Haiti.

The group has also assembled a group of international professionals to work as a think tank is the attempt to solve some of the most critical problems in the rebuilding projects. According to the head of the think tank, Architect J-P Mattila, the waste management and sufficient supply of energy are the keys to sustainable developments. "The idea is to build in each camp large concrete waste deposit holding tanks, that will be used to produce methane gas. The methane gas is well suited to run gas burners, frigdes and even generators. Our goal is to design and build such a centralized unit in each camp, that will have toilets, showers and cooking areas for the refugees. This enables for example Camp Sosua to survive and more importantly it can turn into a long term and even permanent solution for many of its occupants. If we solve the waste management and personal hygiene issues, we will be able to reduce the spreading of diseases significantly. We are very exited about this approach and are actively looking for more international partners to participate in these efforts."

The waste management and sufficient supply of energy are the keys to sustainable development of these new refugee camps, quickly turning into new permanent settlements. "The idea is to build in each camp large concrete waste deposit holding tanks, that will be used to produce methane gas. The methane gas is well suited to run gas burners, coolers and even generators to produce electricity. Our goal is to design and build such a centralized unit in each camp, that will have toilets, showers and cooking areas. This enables for example Camp Sosua to survive and more importantly it can turn into a long term sustainable settlement for many of its occupants. If we solve the waste management and personal hygiene issues, and produce the badly needed energy for food preservation and preparation, we will be able to reduce the spreading of diseases significantly. We are very exited about this approach and are actively looking for more international partners to participate in these efforts. The idea of producing methane gas from human waste is not new and it is already used succesfully in few locations in the Dominican Republic. By the end of 2011, we hope to have Camp Sosua equipped with at least three of such centers and build around it more than 2000 homes". Mr. Mattila heads the team of international volunteers together with a Cuban civil engineer Eloy Gamboa. The team has currently in total over one dozen experienced professional working full time as volunteers. They come for different countries, including Canada, Germany, Austria. Finland, France and Cuba.

Many international humanitarian organizations are also getting involved in these efforts. DSD group has delivered supplies to entities like Maltese Order supporting the Hopital Sacre Coeur in Milot and to Haiti Response coalition in Porte-au-Prince.

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Jose Lantigua

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