Collaborative effort in flooded Niger

from ShelterBox
Published on 08 Oct 2013 View Original

Scouts, the Red Cross, the Fire Brigade and Rotarians assisted the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) in Niger in bringing much-needed shelter to families made homeless by recent widespread flooding in the Niamey region.

ShelterBox often collaborates with others in the field and carries out ‘train-the-trainer’ programmes, meaning that SRT members train people who will then help set up the disaster relief tents, and in turn they will train a group of people to assist on the day. This way aid can be distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible once it arrives to families in need.

‘We arrived at the Sagia site at 8am to try and avoid the hot sun,’ said SRT member Peter Pearce (AU). ‘Niger is an extremely hot country and setting up tents in that heat is always a challenge. Once we had everybody together, we started doing a tent demonstration involving a few people. As soon as the first tent was up, we divided the group into teams who then went on to set up the remaining tents. We decided it would be beneficial to install them at their final position and we collaborated with the site planner in order to determine where the tents would be set up.

‘The camp was set up following humanitarian standards, thereby ensuring families have enough space around them to allow for livestock, meeting areas as well as privacy.

‘Impressed with the Scouts’

‘We were particularly impressed with the Scouts. They are a group of very dedicated and skilled young men, who put up tents superbly. They worked with ShelterBox last year when we responded to flooding in Niger and are proving extremely useful and reliable. They are definitely adding value to our operation.’

Lodovica Tranchini (IT) was on her first deployment and said, ‘Seeing the tents go up, even if it was just for training, was really motivating. It reminded me of why we are here and I felt proud to be involved.’

Once the tents arrived, the camp was set up within a few days and families were moving in their new homes as tents were pitched.

‘Love our ShelterBox tent’

‘We love our ShelterBox tent as when we zip it up it keeps out scorpions, mosquitos and rain,’ commented one family with nine children. ‘It even has a floor. In just three hours the water completely flooded our house; it just melted away leaving us with nothing.’

ShelterBox also provided Lifestraws (water filters) to Oxfam for them to be used by thousands of people in Agadez who had been drinking out of dirty rivers.