From the desk of the Chairman
Since our last Newsletter, in February, a lot of things have happened.
Foremost of these has been the number of disasters that have occurred – cyclones, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, mud slides, and displaced persons immediately spring to mind
2017 has been a year of unprecedented disasters and we have not been able to get to all of them
Those that we did respond to have been a tremendous draw on our resources and we need to
rebuild our stock of aid products to be able to continue to address the demands of what we do.
Where did we go, are we now?
- Disaster Aid USA is the coordinating partner in bringing aid to Puerto Rico
- Disaster Aid UK & Ireland is the coordinating partner in bringing aid to Dominica.
- Disaster Aid Australia is the coordinating partner in bringing aid to Marawi, Philippines; bringing our involvement in Nepal to a close; and bringing aid to Mexico.
- Disaster Aid New Zealand is the coordinating partner bringing water filters to Pampanga, Philippines.
- Disaster Aid UK and Ireland is the coordinating partner bringing help to rebuild a village in Ecuador following the 2016 earthquake.
- Disaster Aid USA has also been heavily involved in helping the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
Disaster Aid USA has also been heavily involved in helping the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
Response Team (DART) volunteers trained. They travelled to the USA at their own expense to take part in a training session that included a endees from USA, UK, and the Czech Republic.
To bring this resume to a close. It was one of our experienced DART volunteers, Peter Hazell, who led the deployment in Puerto Rico; and two of our other DART volunteers, Suzie Vaill and Ma Gemmell, have met up with an experienced DART Leader, Tore Knos, from Disaster Aid USA to form the team that is now in Dominica.
The cooperation between the Disaster Aid partners continues to bring relief to those who need it, and with your help will continue to grow to meet their needs.
Although it failed to get much coverage in the local media, several 100’s of thousands of people have been displaced by ISIL activities and an organisation on that Disaster Aid has worked with many times before, Balay Mindanaw, requested fresh help.
Some 450 tents and 2,000 mosquito nets have been shipped to the Philippines along with more SkyHydrants.
With the help of a local Rotary Club in Ecuador we have managed to fund building the last of the houses for a village that had to be relocated. It has been a long struggle, fraught with difficulties over finding a suitable site and preparing it for habitation.
As I said before, watch this space for more future developments.
In the two years since the 2015 earthquakes we have tried several times to go back and complete projects identified while we were there. Politics, monsoons, and insufficient information on all combined against us until just recently when 2 DART volunteers from Disaster Aid Australia went to fit SkyHydrants in a school damaged by the earthquakes but that had never closed. The water supply is contaminated with pathogens and the school was suffering between 5 and 10% absenteeism due to well water related sicknesses before the SkyHydrants went into service.
At the request of Disaster Aid USA we loaned one of our experienced DART volunteers to Puerto Rico to head up a team who were deploying the aid there.
The big issue in Puerto Rico is a lack of safe potable water and the possible solutions are frustrated by a lack of electrical power to run pumped water filter stations. Fortunately, we were able to provide personal/family water filters that do not require electricity to operate, and provided the contaminants are not dissolved in the water, can usually deliver potable water.
Our second deployment is to Dominica and as this is being written our DARTS are leaving Gatwick and Los Angeles to start their deployment. The Rotary clubs in Dominica have been instrumental in helping get this deployment underway and we will be working them throughout our me on the island.
Our Caribbean Hurricane Appeal is still open if you wish to make a donation, and we continue to look for other opportunities to bring aid to other parts of the Caribbean that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The different ways to make a donation can be found on our website which, by the way, is undergoing a massive update.
If you are interested in getting updates about what is happening, then our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as our website which is being updated, are the best places to look: