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Flooding and volcanic activity

monday, may 28:

A total of 141 ShelterBoxes have been distributed across the towns of Manacamiri, Tamshiyacu, Aucayo, Hauysi, Porvernir, San Rafael and Fernando Lores. All teams are now home and the deployment is complete.

friday, may 25:

Families are moving into new homes thanks to the distribution of vital life saving supplies by the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) working in the Loreto region of Peru.

The SRT has been working with local scouts to distribute 39 ShelterBoxes in Manacamiri after widespread flooding affected the Amazonian village.

Many families were left homeless whilst others continued to live in their flooded homes, building raised floors just several feet above water. The village school also served as a shelter for 23 families.

Emily Sperling, President of ShelterBox USA, who is serving as part of the team in Peru, explained it was a race against time to get families sheltered: ‘The school shelter is closing this week, we knew families wouldn't have any place to go unless we could get the tents set up immediately.'  

In order to get the aid to families in need as quickly as possible ShelterBox reached out to partners for help.

The ISTAT Airlink program connects charity organisations with airlines that can provide donated or discounted passenger and cargo space to get aid supplies and aid workers to the parts of the world that need them the most. They enlisted the help of Aerolog, Inc., a Miami-based company, to fly the ShelterBoxes into the region free of charge.

25 boys and girls from three local scout groups also assisted in the effort by helping the SRT to set up tents. SRT member Alan Monroe (US), an Eagle Scout himself, explained the importance of scout involvement in the deployment: ‘Scouts want to be of service to their community and by engaging them in our response to flooding in Manacamiri they not only gained valuable community service experience but also, most importantly, helped us get families sheltered more quickly.’

Jessica Aricari and her husband and five children lost their home after the floodwater washed away their house. The family was given a ShelterBox tent and Jessica said: ‘I am very, very happy. Thank you for the tents and the shade.’

Emily Sperling described the joy that greeted the team as families began to move into their new homes: ‘Our team was overwhelmed with emotion when the villagers spontaneously cheered and then approached us one by one to hug us and give thanks. That's a moment that I'll cherish for a lifetime.’

She added: ‘The town leader, Orlando, approached our team to give his personal thanks and told us how much the help from ShelterBox meant to the village. Our team immediately explained to Orlando that working with the people of Manacamiri meant as much to us and the donors that provided the boxes as it did to them.’

thursday, may 17:

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members have been working with local Rotarians in the flooded Amazonian region of Iquitos in northern Peru.

Iquitos Rotary Club, district 4460, is playing an active role in the deployment. Providing a translator and funding the transport of the ShelterBoxes up the river to distribute to families in need are just some of the ways the Rotarians have supported the SRT. They also continue to lend a helpful hand in overcoming various logistical challenges.

Hugo Chacaltana has been the President of the club for 15 years. He said this is their first time working for ShelterBox as they only learned about the charity through its current response in the South American country:

'It is a pleasure to work with ShelterBox and help the affected families because our Rotary Club exists to serve others and that is what ShelterBox does also.

'People appreciate the help, and though it might be hard for them to understand the full scope of what is being done to help them, they are aware people from all over the world have made donations.'

SRT volunteer and Rotarian Derek Locke (US) has been in Iquitos for almost three weeks addressing the needs of the families made homeless by the floods:

'The local Rotary club does a lot of good work including water projects but the locals don't know much about them. Having the Rotary logo on the tents is helping the people of Iquitos become more aware of the work that Rotarians do, which is great.'

The team is also working with national and regional governments to determine the need for emergency shelter for those displaced by the disaster. With more ShelterBoxes due to arrive over the next few days, thirty ShelterBoxes have been distributed to families in Indiana and San Juan Bautista so far.

wednesday, May 09:

The First Lady of Peru has thanked ShelterBox for supporting the Peruvian people at one of their greatest times of need, following extensive floods and widespread landslides across the country.

Also known as Nadine Heredia, she arranged for a Peruvian Air Force cargo plane to transport ShelterBox aid from Lima to Iquitos in the north. A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is currently working in this area to assist those who have lost their homes in the floods caused by the Amazon River overflowing. She met with the team in the flood-hit town of Indiana.

SRT volunteers Chris Donald (UK) and Derek Locke (US) along with local Rotarians had been giving demonstrations of the kit and the set up of the tent to several local workers hired by the Mayor of Indiana.

'We had distributed a few ShelterBoxes to families before the First Lady arrived to meet us,' said Derek. 'She was impressed with the ShelterBox tents and the work that we had done not only here but also by SRTs on the other deployment in central Peru, where 409 boxes have been delivered to families made homeless by landslides in the Apurimac Region. She thanked us for ShelterBox's support and saw the difference the boxes had made to the displaced families.'

One family had been living under a plastic sheet after their house had been completely submerged by the swollen Amazon River. The family can now live in comfort with the gift of a ShelterBox.

'Being my first deployment, this was the first family I had witnessed to be housed,' said Derek. 'It gave me great pride that we were able to help these people and bring them shelter.'

More ShelterBoxes have been distributed in Santa Isabel, where families who have lost everything had been living in cramped conditions in a school. The ShelterBox Solution offered them to live temporarily in privacy and dignity.

tuesday, may 01:

The team's primary relief efforts are focused in the outlying areas of Indiana, Fernado Lores and Los Amazonas, all of which are regions that are hard to reach but have the most need.

'Entire villages are submerged underwater, forcing families to put their belongings on buildings' roofs and live on planks of wood,' said SRT volunteer Malcolm Shead. 'But believe it or not these are the lucky ones. There was one family living like this in Los Amazonas region and were the only family there. The other neighbouring families have been forced to retreat far into the depths of the jungle to find higher ground.'

The Response Team has been working with the local government to plan the logistics of delivering boxes in these hard to reach areas.

'Field assessments have been challenging for us as many of the areas can only be reached by boat and travelling time can take many hours,' said Malcolm. 'Luckily our SRT training has prepared us to deal with the risk posed by travelling around these damp and unusually inhospitable areas.

'Also the collaborative approach to aid delivery is where ShelterBox works best - working with local authorities to tackle the inaccessible communities and bring them shelter, warmth and dignity as soon as possible.'

friday, april 27:

The ShelterBox Response Team has found a need for emergency shelter and other life-saving supplies. Boxes will be sent from Lima.

wednesday, april 18:

Continuous heavy rains over the past few months have caused widespread flooding in the region of Loreto located in the heart of the Peruvian rainforest. The heavy rains have caused rivers' water levels to rise and consequently overflow into surrounding areas, displacing many families.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is en route to Iquitos, the world's largest city that is unreachable by road and situated next to the left riverbank of the Amazon River, to assess the need for emergency shelter.

Steve Crabtree (UK) is one of the SRT members who is travelling to the northern Peruvian city and said he is preparing himself for the challenges that lie ahead:

'We are flying to Lima to meet with local Rotary to discuss transportation options to carry out the needs assessment. Not only is Iquitos unreachable by road but it is also flooded so we need to look at travelling around by boats. The next stage is then to think about how to get the ShelterBoxes there if a need is found and also find suitable dry land to pitch the tents with access to water and sanitation services. '

Malcolm Shead (UK), Mark Curnow (UK) and Rachel Simpkins (UK) are the other SRT members joining Steve on the deployment. back