As we hide and hunt for Easter eggs, as we celebrate and pray, as we eat lots of food and chocolate and enjoy our time with family, let us not forget about those in need.
An update from Past District Governor, Rotarian Dick McCombe, on what's happening in Haiti.
Another Mini update
March 30 2010
I have been remiss in not updating all of you on the continued progress with our Haiti Relief effort. As I mentioned in the last update our mid term focus was going to be schools and to complete the consolidation of relief supplies on the way to Haiti and to help facilitate that exercise through our Charter from Nassau. This charter is leaving with 68 20’ Containers or equivalents on it FULL of Rotary supplied or coordinated Relief supplies.
Many Districts and Clubs have continued to send relief goods to be consolidated and shipped through our shipper in the US. Thanks to Larry Labadie and Phil Lustig this has gone well state side. There has been one disappointment with this exercise but I believe it has been resolved.
The ship was to have left 3 weeks ago, but due to the following it has been delayed and leaves next week. The first obstacle was that we needed to get approval from the Bahamian Government to transship the ship load of containers through the Bahamas. This was necessary because some of the containers (23) were being filled in Nassau from Relief Supplies sourced in and through Nassau which meant that they had to be off loaded here. This approval process took a bit over a week. When approval had been received it took an additional week for ACL to coordinate the container movement to Nassau. The approval unfortunately came after the ship was scheduled for another Humanitarian trip to Haiti that had delays in the offloading. What does that mean? We are running very late!!!!!
We have containers of medical supplies, tents, Xtra Large School tents, building materials for school desks and benches, ambulances, busses, trucks, hospital beds, awnings, beds and mats, clothing, some food and water items, prepackaged meals, and much much more.
When the containers arrive in Haiti they will be distributed to the selected communities that they have been packed for, by Chatelain Cargo, a fellow Haitian Rotarian so we are confident that that exercise will be swift. On arrival in the communities the Rotarians will erect the tents and begin to make space for the expanded population of students while local labour will assemble the desks and chairs and get paid for doing so. This should help with the kids in school and add some local employment.
At our Haiti Task Force meeting in Miami, we had asked the Rotary Clubs through the Assistant governors to submit their needs lists so we could allocate additional resources depending on the latest needs identified. Unfortunately we are still waiting for submissions from some Club Presidents, and have others that are requests for well beyond what our funding capabilities are. We are working through this but it is taking some time. Once we have all the information consolidated we will try to make it available to all clubs in Zones 33 and 34.
We are anxiously awaiting the final draft of the PDNA (Post Disaster National Assessment) and the scheduled review of the document by all parties. Unfortunately this information has also been hard to come by in any reliable form so we are standing by for the information and ready to move when we get it.
Finally, the rainy season has begun and the challenges in Haiti for Shelter and Health issues will only grow exponentially, so pray hard and hope what we do achieve will make a difference to those that need it most.
Have a blessed and happy Easter.