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REPORTING · 6th March 2010
Merv Ritchie
All around the globe, on every continent, in almost every country, reports are delivered about humanitarian disasters of some type. Weather events such as floods or tornados or geological catastrophes such as mud slides or the recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti have communities around the world coming together with the desire to help. It was the earthquake in Haiti that awoke a new concept, a plan that all countries of the world could participate in; one that could be implemented quickly and be the first response for those most in need. There are many communities all ready to go and Kitsualt just happens to likely be the best and ‘most ready. With the will, the desire, a small measure of assistance, it could serve Haiti today.

The concept is simple. Instead of attempting to setup treatment and care facilities, emergency housing and food distribution centers in every disaster zone, bring the most vulnerable out to centers already setup. As the emergency flights arrive with supplies and personnel in an initial humanitarian response to a situation, the flights could leave with the most in need, to be brought to one of hundreds of towns prepared for such a situation.

Kitsault is a complete community ready to serve such a need. Designed for a population of 5,000 it was built in 1980 and is fully equipped to house and support targeted victims. There are medical facilities in place, which includes a fully equipped hospital as well as recreational and educational facilities. The current owner of Kitsault has provided conditional approval for the mobilization of Haitian victims to Kitsault to assist in their physical and emotional rehabilitation. The community has been kept in a state of readiness for many years; infrastructure intact, heat on, lawns cut, homes maintained and furnished; simply waiting for new residents.

A local grass roots group from the community of Terrace BC, is mobilized and motivated to assist the victims of Haiti and has envisioned this project to serve as a model for future human catastrophes around the globe in an early intervention strategy.

“At this point, we envision, three phases. Phase one is bringing up to 100 children who are homeless and have lost their family due to the quake to Kitsault, Phase two will also concentrate on children with however, an inclusion of adult woman who have also lost their family members. All victims of both Phase 1 and 2 will include those with treatable injuries as determined by the capacity of Kitsault, and the lead organization in consultation with medical specialists.” wrote Tom Harwood who is acting as the spokesperson for the group from Terrace. “Phase 3 being the integration of the victims to Canadian society if they choose. Once the victim’s physical and emotional needs have been met to the highest level possible within that time frame, Phase 3 will begin the process of adoption and citizenship, or the integration process.”

The concept has a much broader scope than this one community. There are many abandoned communities, large and small, in many countries; many in Canada alone. Most are not being maintained to the high degree that Kitsault is yet many could be rehabilitated and maintained in advance of an emergency disaster need. If 100 communities were available worldwide, each with the capacity of 1000, the math is simple, one hundred thousand suffering and injured children, women and men could be evacuated in the initial 24 to 48 hours to facilities that could treat their immediate needs. It is not a stretch to imagine 500 communities waiting to address such a need. The medical professionals would not need to leave their own home countries and fly across the globe to help, they would be able to travel a short distance to the “First response town” treat the injured and then return to their normal practises.

“The Kitsault concept is a model that will serve for future human catastrophes across the globe, once the model has been utilized, there will be minimized gap time between future event and mobilization; subsequently, the model being presented for the three phases in Kitsault will encourage other such communities around the globe to use Kitsault as a template to develop future social action planning strategies linked to human catastrophes.” stated Harwood, “It is estimated that such a model strategically integrated and developed in ten countries, would reduce care time delays by up to thirty days per disaster for victims. Kitsault is an early intervention strategy, designed for the fast tracking mobilization of victims, and to minimize human suffering as much as possible.”

"As we noticed last week [referring to Chile] there was yet another human catastrophe that occurred that if Kitsault was mobilized, we could have offered immediate evacuation and medical social assistance in Kitsault. "

See a youtube video of Kitsault, as it sits today, HERE

See more pictures, video and history with the owner of the town HERE.
Please tell me you meant "spawns"...
Comment by toots500 on 7th March 2010
I'm positive you meant to title this article "Haiti Disaster Spawns..." as to spurn means to disrespectfully disregard : )
Cool...
Comment by Adam Kirkwood on 6th March 2010
What a great idea... seems like it would be far less expensive than what's going on right now...

Oh, and if the Haitians don't want to live there, I will. It looks great.