For the past four weeks we have been on standby to send Water-Survival Boxes to help with water-purification in the refugee camps in the Dadaab region of Kenya. However, serious difficulties in arranging a safe and secure route along the 300 mile journey from Nairobi, as well as a controlled environment for distribution to families most in need, meant we have had to wait for confirmation that such arrangements were in place.
In the interim the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and major NGOs on site have been working to provide sustainable clean water supplies by drilling a series of boreholes. We are now advised by our partners (Humanity First) that this work has resulted in adequate supplies of clean water for the existing and anticipated numbers of refugees on each of the camps for the foreseeable future. For that reason it has been agreed to cancel the planned consignment. The fact that sustainable alternatives have now been provided is good news for the refugees, and enables us to provide help elsewhere.
In the past ten days we have been alerted to the impact of a typhoon that has left some tens of thousands homeless in the Bicol region of Luzon Province in the Philippines. Working with the Rotary Clubs of Metro Lipa and Metro Legazpi arrangements are being made to send an initial consignment of WSBs for distribution by the Philippines Red Cross in partnership with the local Rotary Clubs.
Our appeal in relation to the Horn of Africa is now closed and donations received will be used to assist in the Philippines and to build stocks for future disasters. The difficulties of communication and extended supply routes have been a major frustration over the past month but it was important that we did not forward our aid until all the conditions were in place to ensure it reached those in need. We are very grateful to those Clubs that responded to the Horn of Africa appeal and trust they will understand and agree with the action we have taken.
Hugo Pike, Chairman – Worldwaterworks Limited.