Here is the lastest update on Haiti. This letter was written by Past Rotarian International Direstor, Barry Rassin.
Rotarians and Haiti Earthquake Relief
Rotary relief efforts for Haiti are now in preparation for the next phase, which is sustainable restoration projects to enable long-term rehabilitation to begin, schools to reopen, and adequate housing for the future. To date, Rotary has delivered more than 100 plane loads and numerous containers of medical supplies, food, water, toys, clothes, bedding and tents. Many volunteer doctors, surgeons and nurses have also been transported by Rotary. $50,000 in seed has been organized to catch the planting season in Haiti.
A freighter with about 60 20 and 40 foot containers is still being organized to be partially filled (about 10 filled in Florida along with a truck two ambulances and a bus) and shipped to Nassau, Bahamas where the balance of the containers will be filled. Most of these items have been donated but some of the specific needs have been purchased to ensure we are meeting the real needs of the population. This freighter has been leased and the containers purchased by Rotary so they can be left in Haiti for other uses. This will be the last of phase one for providing immediate relief items. During this process the cost to Rotary in the Bahamas has been more than US$320,000 with $540,000 already raised. The Rotary District 7020 (D7020) account for Haiti Relief has about US$400,000 which will be used for the sustainable efforts in the next phase. The value of “in-kind” donations raised by D7020 is estimated at US$2 million.
The D7020 Committee overseeing the Relief efforts is developing specific recommendations for the future efforts based on comments and requests from the Government of Haiti and the Rotarian Leaders in Haiti. The focus will be in three areas:
1. The children are considered a priority and they must get back to school. In addition to literacy, this ensures one meal a day and keeps them occupied. The 17 Haitian Rotary clubs are developing a plan for at least one school to be restored back to operating capabilities. They will include desks, supplies and other necessary items that will bring the school back into operation.
2. It is estimated that about 4,000 individuals have had amputations and require prosthetics. D7020 has appointed a committee to coordinate the efforts locally with the numerous organizations interested in helping to provide prosthetics. Currently the committee is reviewing a proposal from the Rotary Jaipur Limb Project, which will provide free limbs once we provide clinics/laboratories for them to be produced. The containers may be used for this purpose. We are looking at perhaps three clinics at $50,000 each. This will not only provide limbs but also jobs to help build the economy. Within these clinics there could be physical therapy and psychological therapy, etc. to aid in the healing process but we may just focus Rotary on the prosthetics.
3. With 1.2 million now homeless, living in tents or under various types of material and the rainy/hurricane season approaching, sustainable housing must be addressed. D7020 has appointed a committee to investigate various types of appropriate ways to provide shelter that can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. A possibility is to provide Rotary Villages that have the entire infrastructure a village needs such as water, sanitation, a clinic, a school, a community center, job creation, etc.