When Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti one year ago today, it destroyed crops and houses and killed as many as 1600 people throughout the Caribbean island nation. Yet for survivors in communities where the ACT Alliance partners with local groups to support reconstruction, the anguish of the storm is slowing giving way to a more resilient future.
Nutrition specialist and long-time CWS colleague, Julia Suryantan, visited the CWS team in Myanmar recently to help review progress to date, and advise on improvements for best practice implementation, for nutrition activities in 15 Maubin Township villages in the Ayeyarwaddy region in the country’s Southwest.
“Our district [in the north of South Sulawesi island] is often hit by natural disasters like floods, landslides and drought. In the past, there were no resources from the district government or anybody else to deal with disasters, so we worked together as volunteers in our community when a disaster struck. In the past, we didn’t know anything about disaster risk reduction or preparedness,” remembers Oky Juser Laisnima, who leads the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum that was formed in his district as part of the CWS-supported SOLIDARITAS initiative.
The 30 families in Eonfetnai hamlet in West Timor, Indonesia live, like many other villagers in the area, is a drought prone area. Until 2013, the hamlet had only one water source – an unprotected spring that, when it filled up, was contaminated by dirt, falling leaves and animal droppings. In the dry season, there was little or no water at all, and families spent a lot of time collecting water from distant scarce source.
Among the many risks children face in Myanmar, tuberculosis is one that develops slowly and often unnoticed by parents and teachers. Fortunately for seven-year-old first grader, Lin Lae Cho is seven, who lives in a village in the far southwest of the Ayeyarwaddy River delta, her TB was detected when her parents started to notice that their normally active and happy was unwell with a fever and coughing. When they saw blood from her cough and realized she was not breathing normally, they took her to see a nearby doctor, who ordered an immediate chest X-ray to confirm a TB diagnosis.