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.
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.
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:
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.