|Chiswick Charity Worker In Indonesia Following Series of Major Disasters|
Becky Maynard joins Shelterbox response team to bring aid to thousands who lost their homes in 'catastrophic' earthquake
Chiswick aid worker Becky Maynard is currently in Indonesia to delivering aid following the earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra.
Working, and volunteering, for ShelterBox– a disaster relief charity that specialises in providing emergency shelter, water purification and other essential survival items after disaster, 35 year old Becky contacted ChiswickW4.com via email saying, “I have been in Jakarta for the last two days working with our contacts to get ShelterBoxes shipped to the disaster area and to get more aid through customs and am flying to Padang this morning (Monday 5th October) with my colleague Shane to join the rest of my team in the process of distributing aid.
“Although I am a fundraiser for the organisation I am also trained as a member of the volunteer ShelterBox Response Team and arrived in Indonesia this weekend to distribute aid in the region around Padang following the devastating earthquake that struck on 30th September.
“Over 600 people have been killed and it is estimated that many thousands more will have died but remain buried under the rubble. Whole villages have been destroyed in landslides and as the rainy season throws more trials at the people who have lost everything we are now working rapidly to get shelter to as many people as we can.”
Becky joined the four-man ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) on the ground in Indonesia. Andy Holland and Mike Greenslade have been busy making initial assessments in the Pariaman district of Padang, West Sumatra, near the epicentre of the catastrophic earthquake. Coordinating with local government 'poskos' centres, where aid and information are gathered and distributed, the SRT are looking to find those families most in need.
The team says many homes have been lost and even more so severely damaged that they will have to be demolished. Latest figures from UNOCHA say that are 83,000 severely damaged houses and the SRT members are coordinating their effort with the Shelter Cluster, lead by the International Federation of the Red Cross.
Mike Greenslade said, “There are some 72 international NGOs working here, covering all aspects of disaster relief and it’s important we work together to achieve the most effective outcome. There's a big job to do here and by sharing resources and, more importantly, information we can make sure our efforts aren’t duplicated.”
Andy Holland, who has been in Indonesia since the beginning of September dealing with the earlier earthquake in Java, added, “We have 200 boxes already in country and plan to start distributing tomorrow. Needs assessments will be an ongoing process and we have been bolstered by the arrival of two more SRTs, Becky Maynard and Shane Revill with a further 424 boxes on the way. The rainy season has started and it’s important we get help to those in need quickly.”
The public’s response to ShelterBox’s appeal for help has been sensational. ShelterBox Founder and CEO Tom Henderson said, “We’ve been completely overwhelmed and humbled by our supporters generosity and compassion. Donations of time, money and energy have come from all quarters and we're so very grateful. But there's still a long road ahead and we need to ensure we help as many people as we can.”
Last week a succession of catastrophic large scale disasters have hit areas around the Pacific, leaving thousands without shelter. This series of unprecedented and devastating tsunamis, typhoons and earthquakes hit the region leaving entire communities in need of help.
Just hours after a tsunami, triggered by an earthquake, slammed into the Pacific Island, Samoa, a second earthquake struck 30 miles off the coast of Sumatra. The earthquake has caused many buildings, including two hospitals to collapse with the coastal city of Padang, capital of the Western Sumatra province, being one of the hardest hit regions.
This has been one of ShelterBox's most challenging set of deployments to date and they are urgently appealing for donations to enable them to alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who have lost everything in the last week.
Becky will be sending us updates on the work of Shelterbox when she can.
October 5, 2009