November 19, 2012

Shelterbox Report from Sandy Stricken Haiti, and New York

Cornish charity Shelterbox have been providing their distinctive green, tent filled boxes to the people of Haiti off and on for years now, as well as many other places around the planet.  In their latest report from the Caribbean island nation following the passage of Hurricane Sandy last month, they say that:

The situation in Haiti is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Following Hurricane Sandy, there are reports of over 30,000 homes destroyed, damaged or flooded, and now, heavy rains have resulted in extreme flooding in the far north of the country.

Shelterbox were already prepared for yet another disaster in the country:

We already have 448 boxes in Haiti. The real challenge will be ensuring we don’t negatively affect the ongoing, long-term recovery of the country. Two and a half years after the earthquake, tents should be a last resort for families as the government and humanitarian community are reluctant to see ‘tent cities’ spring up again.

Hurricane Sandy and the recent flooding have also resulted in a new cholera outbreak and food insecurity, with an estimated 1.5 million people affected by food shortages after the disasters destroyed crops.

The situation is horrendous. In a country where the population has been through so much, there is an overwhelming desire to make the best of a bad situation but it’s hard when there’s one crisis after another. We’re surrounded by extreme poverty.

Here's how the situation looks in Haiti as we speak:

Image courtesy of Shelterbox. Photo by Josh Mohr. Click to donate.

Image courtesy of Shelterbox. Photo by Josh Mohr. Click to find out WHY?

Moving on to events in another nation not normally associated with "extreme poverty", Shelterbox go on to point out that:

ShelterBox has also been distributing blankets to Sandy survivors in New York and New Jersey in the USA in support of rescue and recovery efforts following the disaster

According to Wikipedia, Hurricane Sandy killed a total of of 60 people with 15 still missing. Deaths caused by cholera rather than by Sandy more directly are itemised elsewhere. In the United States there have been 131 fatalities, and an estimated $50 billion worth of damage as the result of Super Storm Sandy. Wikipedia doesn't specify what value should be placed on each lost life.  There have been 7691 so far in the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

Finally please note that today is World Toilet Day:

Did you know that 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet

A fair few of those people are currently living in Haiti, and will die from cholera as a result.

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