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Friday 22 January 2010

Camps set up as aid begins to flow
Camps set up as aid begins to flow Four year-old Carlos had his leg amputated on Wednesday. He is now recovering in a ShelterBox tent and is pictured using one of the children’s packs sent in the boxes. Photograph: Mark Pearson

Hundreds of ShelterBox tents are providing emergency shelter in and around Port au Prince and hundreds more boxes are set to arrive today.

ShelterBoxes have been distributed at Bernard Mews hospital in Freres, a suburb of Port au Prince and at a second hospital in the capital. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member and General Manager, Lasse Petersen (UK), says the use of the tents by hospitals is already helping save lives.

SRT members Lasse, David Eby (US), Wayne Robinson (US), Mark Pearson (UK) have now been joined by Ian Neal (UK) and John Mackie (UK) on the ground in Port au Prince.

Mark Pearson said: ‘We’ve been working really hard the past few days setting up tents in two separate hospitals that are having an immediate impact and saving lives. As soon as the tents are up at the hospitals there are patients moving into them.’

The team will soon be joined by Jane Nash (UK), Gary McCafferty (UK) and John Diksa (FR) who are travelling with an aid convoy into Haiti from the Dominican Republic.

                                      Google image of first camp locations

Small camps have already been set up in different locations. 50 boxes have been distributed in Delmas, 50 in Petion-Ville, 50 in Carrefour and 100 in Leogane, one of the worst affected areas. Rotarians in Haiti have been working with the Response Team to coordinate the distribution.

The 700 ShelterBoxes and 100 ShelterBox disaster relief tents sent from Newquay Cornwall Airport landed in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic and are now travelling overland to Port au Prince. Another 200 ShelterBoxes, flown from Vatry, France by the French Red Cross, landed in Santa Domingo and are also travelling overland to Port au Prince. A further 400 ShelterBoxes, sent from the UK to Miami, USA with the help of Virgin Atlantic, are expected to land in Port au Prince this afternoon local time.

This morning in Port au Prince, Lasse Petersen and Mark Pearson loaded a helicopter with ShelterBoxes to be sent to an orphanage. Mark is travelling with the boxes to oversee the distribution.

Head of Operations John Leach said: ‘The situation is still constantly changing but we now have a good number of boxes in use and a large number set to arrive today.

‘The support we’ve had across the board has been fundamental in making this happen but the job has only just begun. We’re in this for the long haul and couldn’t do it without the continued commitment of our supporters, volunteers and, of course, our amazing response team members.’ 

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