PLEASE PASS THIS ON: An idea for reducing communications/rumor problems within Haiti

Haiti right now has no infrastructure for communicating vital, life-saving information to its population.  It’s newspapers, TV stations and radio stations are not only down but are practically useless to people because there is no electricity to speak of and even if there were power almost no one now has a radio or TV left to use.   

The collapse of communications systems within Haiti is terrible because it means that rumors, misinformation and vital information are all flowing in many directions.  This problem can be lethal when you have people living on the edge, desperate for the most basic needs like water, food, shelter and medical help. 

My idea is that the rescue efforts should incorporate a communications plane that drops millions of Creole-language paper leaflets daily throughout Haiti filled with vital information on both sides.  The leaflets would be a rough version of a daily newspaper and will be dated for people to keep track of old and new information.  I know this sounds very old school but frankly it may be the only effective way that relief authorities can handle the vast communications problems facing Haitians.

The only reason I’m posting this communications idea online is simply because I don’t have anyone else connected to Haitian rescue efforts to share it with right now.    I am going to try several other places to share this idea with but  would appreciate it if anybody can pass it on.  

Manny Ruiz
The Hispanic PR Blog