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Disaster relief

Rotary-backed charities step up aid to Haiti

Rotary-backed charities step up aid to Haiti

Rotary is continuing to bolster support for relief efforts to the Caribbean island of Haiti, which suffered a devastating earthquake last month.

The Rotary charity Aquabox, which was started by a group of Rotarians in Derbyshire, is among many charities working to get urgent aid to Haiti.

There is a dire need for humanitarian aid following the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14th which killed more than 2,200 people.

At least 130,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, as well as infrastructure such as hospitals, ports and roads.

A map showing the damage and casualties caused by the earthquake in Haiti

An alarming situation was made worse by Tropical Storm Grace which passed over the country on August 17th depositing up to 20cm of rain in some areas, increasing the risk of landslides and compounding the misery for people left without shelter.

In a nation whose population was already highly vulnerable due to poverty as well as political and civil unrest, almost 600,000 people are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

There is a dire need for humanitarian aid following the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14th which killed more than 2,200 people.”

Aquabox supplies water filters and emergency supplies from their base near Matlock.

Trustee Kevin Barclay said: “We are currently in discussion with our partners in the Caribbean to establish which of them are best placed to provide safe and urgent distribution of aid.”

“We are planning to ship a combination of Family Filters and Community Filters. Our stock is ready for despatch once we are confident that proper and secure distribution routes are in place.”

“This shipment will provide clean water to over 6,000 people.”

This map demonstrates how highly susceptible Haiti is to flooding and landslides

However, Aquabox are appealing to Rotarians to help them supply the aid. The cost of air freight has increased considerably, amounting to around ÂŁ2,000 to send the water filters.

Aquabox has set up a Just Giving page specifically for Haiti inviting Rotarians and the public to donate: www.justgiving.com/campaign/Aquabox-Haiti2021

Rotary-backed emergency response charity MapAction has been assisting UN Disaster Assessment & Coordination (UNDAC) teams and other humanitarian and government organisations to respond to the crisis by providing maps of the situation as it evolves.

This includes specific aid requirements in different earthquake-affected locations and areas that became flooded and/or are at risk of landslides.

MapAction’s top aid priorities in Haiti include clean water, housing and food

MapAction is now scaling up its support even further as the crisis continues to unfold. Two MapAction team members travelled to Haiti last weekend at the request of UNDAC. They are being supported remotely by MapAction’s wider team.

Aquabox are appealing to Rotarians to help them supply the aid. The cost of air freight has increased considerably, amounting to around ÂŁ2,000 to send the water filters.”

Jo Pratt, Head of Communications at MapAction, said: “We are very grateful for the support of Rotary clubs throughout the UK, which help to enable it to maintain its constant readiness to respond to these types of emergencies. Thanks also to Newbury Rotary Club for generously donating to MapAction’s Haiti earthquake response.”

ShelterBox, Rotary’s project partners in disaster, is sending a small team to the Dominican Republic.

This will be the first time a ShelterBox team has deployed since the coronavirus crisis severely restricted international travel in early 2020.

ShelterBox have responded several times to Haiti, including in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

The charity will be using everything it has learned, and its close partnership with Rotary International, to forge local connections and make sure the right emergency shelter reaches communities when they need it.

As ShelterBox mobilises to respond to the immediate aftermath, the Rotary Disaster Recovery Trust has reopened their Caribbean Disaster Appeal following the latest earthquake.

The Trust collates donations and makes grants to Rotary projects working on the medium- and long-term rebuilding and regeneration of areas impacted by natural disasters.

How to donate

If you would like to support the Disaster Recovery Trust (charity number 1119688), you can:

Follow this link for our previous article on ShelterBox and the Rotary Disaster Recovery Trust’s response to the Haiti earthquake:

Haiti Earthquake – ShelterBox sends response team and Rotary Disaster Recovery Trust reopens appeal – Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (rotarygbi.org)