India’s COVID Crisis

Over the past two weeks the horrific extent of India’s COVID crisis has been brought into sharp relief

CURRENT SITUATION

As at the 5th May reported new cases exceeds 400,000 per day.

Since the Pandemic began 230,000 deaths have been recorded with the official estimates being almost 4,000 deaths every day.

Multiple Cremation Pyres (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) Credit: Altaf Qadri/AP

Due to the extreme pressure being placed on the Indian Health services, and many people dying before they can be diagnosed, it is believed that the actual cases and deaths are many times higher than the official figures.

DISASTER AID’s SMART AID RESPONSE

Disaster Aid International, as Rotary based charity aim to work with partners to make a real difference to smaller communities that might otherwise miss out on support.

Typically these are the more rural areas.

Disaster Aid Australia has a relationship with the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai and the Diganta Swaraj Foundation through a project to provide Safe Water for Every Child to rural schools.

The Diganta Swaraj Foundation and the Rotary Club are currently involved in assisting the districts of Mokhada, Jawhar and Vikramgad in the Palghar region.

Disaster Aid International Support

Disaster Aid Australia has provided a grant to the Diganta Swaraj Foundation to help them purchase vital supplies.

Disaster Aid UK & Ireland and Disaster Aid USA are looking to source oxygen concentrators.

Disaster Aid Canada is also looking at starting a fundraising campaign.

If you can help follow the above links to find out how to donate to your countries Disaster Aid organisation.

North and Central America Project

Disaster Aid Canada has determined they want to focus on assisting in rebuilding communities and building capacity in Central America in 2021/2022.

This has been based on experience in projects in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

After Tropical Storm Eta

In conjuction with Disaster Aid USA they have formed a Disaster Aid Regional Collaborative.

Membership is open to Rotary Clubs and Districts from Canada to Panama as well as non-profit organizations and funders working in North and Central America

Their goals are:

  • Utilize the existing experience, networks, skills and resources to establish Disaster Aid partners in Central American countries.
  • Build partnerships with Rotary Clubs and Districts to respond to emergencies in their own regions and to work together to rebuild communities.
  • Partner with non-profit and educational organisations to support the building of community capacity through education and training programs.

For further information contact Gerry Beltgens at: gbeltgens@disasteraid.ca

Beirut Blast Update

Since the catastropic explosion in Beirut in August 2020 Disaster Aid Europe (DAE) has been working with Lebanese Rotarians and Rotoractors on a response.

DART Stuart Amesbury carried out an initial assessment and determined that the badly damaged Rosary Hospital was a critial asset for the city.

DAE have been heavily involved in fundraising and obtaining donations in kind to replace damaged equipment and supplies at the hospital.

This has been supported by Disaster Aid Canada.

The efforts have also included support from Disaster Aid Australia which enabled Stuart, working with Rotoractors, to install 2 SkyHydrants at the Rosary Hospital.

Although some parts of the hospital are now operating there is much more that needs to be done!

If you want to help you can find out more at the:

Beirut Appeal

Bhutan 2020 Project Progressing

These 15 skyhydrants from Disaster Aid Australia are on the way to provide safe water for the children of Bhutan.

This shipment means that 105 of the 120 SkyHydrants promised to Bhutan in the ‘BHUTAN 2020‘ project have now been dispatched.

Up to now over 40,000 children and school staff are being protected.

If you would like to help Disaster Aid Australia complete this inspiring project click on the link below;

DONATE

Charity donations of $2 or more to Disaster Aid Australia are tax-deductible in Australia.

Partners Combine for Sabah

Disaster Aid Malaysia volunteers packing PPE

Disaster Aid Malaysia (DAM) has been running an appeal to provide PPE for hospital staff and a ‘Food Bank’ for Sabah state.

This state, one of the poorest in Malaysia, is situated at the northern end of the island of Borneo.

Disaster Aid Australia has stepped in with a $5,000 grant to help purchase additional PPE.

After the equipment was packed by DAM it was delivered by the Royal Malaysian Air Force to Sabah Rotarians, who are now busy distributing the equipment.

10th Anniversary of Disaster Aid International

As Disaster Aid International (DAI) celebrates its 10th Birthday in October its appropriate to reflect on our journey.

At the Rotary International Convention of 2010 in Montreal representatives of the newly formed Disaster Aid Australia met up with Rotarians from similar organisations in the USA and Canada to talk about international co-operation.

By October 2010 the the three initial partners were joined by the British charity ‘LifeBox’   and Disaster Aid International was formally launched as a partnership between Disaster Aid Australia, Disaster Aid USA, Disaster Aid Canada and Disaster Aid UK and Ireland.

Initial aid deployments were to India and Pakistan as a result of floods, other early deployments were to; the Sudan, Haiti, the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines.

For these initial deployments the main type of aid was Family Survival Pack containing a tent, blankets, cooking equipment.

As the organisation gained experience, and carried out follow up reviews of aid delivery, it discovered that many of the components of the Family Survival Pack were not being used.

Other Partners

Over the ten years the Disaster Aid concept has attracted Rotary Clubs from other countries including Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Uruguay.

The individual organisations though separate come together to support each other when responding to disasters with support ranging from financial and material help to sending volunteer Disaster Aid Response Teams (DARTs) for hands on aid delivery.

Aid Delivery

Over time individual partners have modified their aid delivery from the standardised Family Survival Pack approach to regionally and situationally appropriate aid.

Examples of this are:

Smart Aid

An approach of asking the communities that we are aiding what they want and then aiming to purchase the materials as close to the disaster location as possible.

 Typically the requirements are help repairing and/or rebuilding their homes, and the provision of safe drinking water.

Disaster Aid Trailers

Disaster USA in addition to responding to international disasters also respond to internal disasters such as floods and tornados.

To save time they have a number of trailers around the states ready for immediate deployment

Each trailer contains equipment and materials that enable them to offer assistance withing minutes of arriving on site.

Safe Water for Every Child

Disaster Aid Australia though its work in providing safe water for disasters saw that the SkyHydrant units were resulting in long term health benefits to the recipients.

As a result the ‘Safe Water for Every Child‘  program was developed to instal permanent skyhydrant installations, a response to the worldwide disaster of hundreds of thousands of deaths annually as a result of contaminated water.

Rotary International Recognition

In 2019 the efforts of Disaster Aid International were recognised by Rotary International and we were awarded the status of Collaborating Organisation.

DA UK & Ireland and DAA Helping Children In Dhaka

The two Disaster Aid International partners have combined in a a Bangladesh response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rotary Club of Dhaka Royal identified the Dhaka Children’s Hospital as urgently needing support to treat babies affected with the disease.

The two partners agreed to the joint funding of a Baby Bubble CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for the hospital.

This machine is critical for treating babies affected by COVID-19.

When the pandemic subsides it will have a continuing use for babies with breathing difficulties.

The Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital is the only specialist paediatric hospital In Bangladesh.

With around 100,000 outpatients a year, and up to  800 children visiting the hospital each day they are always busy.

The hospital has surgical wards, a nutrition unit, a blood disease and cancer center, and a burns unit.

There is also an emergency center and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which is currently dealing with COVID 19 affected children.

COVID -19 Responses Around The World

Around the World Disaster Aid partners are responding to COVID-19

Disaster Aid Brazil

The Disaster Aid Brazil team aquired hand sanitizer, masks, disposable gloves, and disinfectant.

This has been re-packed by Disaster Aid Brazil volunteers and delivered to all Rotary Clubs in District 4740.

Each clubs will then arrange distribution to hospitals and NGOs across Southern Brazil.

The project was supported by a US$25,000 from the Rotary Foundation Disaster Fund.

Disaster Aid Malaysia

Disaster Aid Malaysia have been working on a joint project with Rotary District 3310.

This has involved purchasing and distributing santizers and face masks.

They are also supporting the needy with supplies of rice. 

Disaster Aid USA

Since March 2020, Disaster Aid USA has provided relief aid items worldwide by tapping into factory and supply partners, including contacts in China.

Items include desperately PPE such as medical face masks, KN95 masks, gloves, and gowns.

To date, DAUSA has secured and distributed more than 40,000 PPEs.

Additional units are in route to the United States for Disaster Aid USA’s deployment, bringing their total distribution to: 115,000+.

Rotarians and other community volunteers and donors have been handling all of the distribution of the PPEs.

Distribution has been everywhere from local recreation centers and senior centers to first responders and medical facilities as well as others who are in high need.

Disaster Aid Australia

 Disaster AId Australia has been assisting its Philippine partner Balay Mindanaw  by;

  • Providing grants for the purchase of rice to distribute to needy families.
  • Providing a SkyHydrant to a displaced persns camp to allow access to clean water.

Disaster Aid Canada

Disaster Aid Canada has just begun an appeal to help the Mayan Villagers in the Lake Atitlán area of Guatemala. They have been working with these people for several years and have contacts who can bring them food and aid. They are in danger of starvation due to the COVID-19 lockdown of their villages.  to Help you can  donate through – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/49533

This project has also been supported by grants from Disaster Aid Australia and Disaster Aid UK and Ireland.

Disaster Aid Partners Combine In India

 A project to provide 8 Goverment. Ashram Schools in MokhadaJawhar Palghar district with safe Drinking Water has recently been completed

The photographs show the installation at the Government Ashram School, Palsunda.

The idea for the project was initiated in 2014 by the Diganta Swaraj Foundation of Mumbai who initially contacted Dharmendra Gangrade of Disaster Aid India and Palm Beach Rotary Club, Navi Mumbai.

Dharmendra  contacted Disaster Aid Australia about their SkyHydrant ultrafiltration solution.

Other funding partners were Rotary Club of Endeavor Hills (Australia), the Rotary Foundation  and the Bay Diligence Foundation.

This project has directly benefited 8,500 school children, staffs, and some villager in that area.

This region has been neglected and backward with local people having no access to clean and safe drinking water with many suffering from waterborne diseases.

Come Hell and High Water in Fort McMurray

The Fort McMurray Floods have wreaked havoc on a community that has been tested too many times recently.

In 2016 the massive forest fires devastated the community and many people lost their homes; the downturn in the Oil Industry has left a large section of the community unemployed.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has closed businesses and added to unemployment.

If those disasters weren’t enough the April 2020 flooding has hit people’s lives, homes and businesses again. 13,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

Businesses were flooded and some people have lost their homes for the second time in 4 years.

Many are still fighting to get insurance payouts from the fires and many do not have insurance coverage for flooding.

The community is rallying around its residents in the face of this adversity but the toll is high.

Disaster Aid Canada is working with Rotarians on the ground who are coordinating with nonprofits and small business, soup kitchens and shelters, individuals and families in need.

Disaster Aid Canada has also set up the Fort McMurray 2020 Flooding Relief Fund.

They are working with Rotary District 5370 and the two Rotary Clubs in Fort McMurray, along with community organisations to ensure that relief funds are used in the community for victims of this disaster.

You can donate via; Canada Helps, or; ATB CaresYou can also send a cheque to Disaster Aid Canada, PO Box 2141, Ladysmith BC, V9G 1B6, attn: Fort McMurray Flood Relief.

DISASTER AID CANADA (250) 661-9665 gbeltgens@disasteraid.cawww.disasteraid.ca All donations are greatly appreciated. Charity #896568417Donations will receive a tax receipt