Follow us by email

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cambodia: Water Festival Disaster Illustrates

Cambodia’s most important yearly celebration, the Water Festival, has been marred by an unthinkably random disaster. Celebrants crossing the bridge to Diamond Island became trapped in a crush of bodies so severe that it injured and killed hundreds.

The Calmette Hospital is the country’s best-equipped hospital and most of the 700 injured have been brought there. The situation is very grim, since the hospital does not possess facilities large or sophisticated enough to deal with such an onslaught.

Calmette’s inadequacy casts the basic struggle of the poor in stark relief. Poverty may be just barely livable - until disaster strikes. Of all the things distinguishing the ‘western’ quality of life from the ‘southern’, the ability to absorb shocks just may be the most fundamental. In bad times, there is no margin of recovery.

We believe that poor communities should be supported so that they can absorb the shocks that inevitably visit human beings.

No comments: