Tag Archives: Disaster Relief

Vital Needs Met in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU— ADRA Vanuatu continues to support the response to Tropical Cyclone Pam by providing local communities in need with safety, food, and access to water.

On Friday, 130 water filtration kits were distributed to four locations in the northeast area of Efate, the main island of Vanuatu. The filtration kits convert contaminated water into clean drinking water and have been set up in schools and churches within the communities.

Six ADRA-supported evacuation centers were set-up with generators to increase the safety and security for the women and children, and to charge devices to assist with communication.

Since Saturday, ADRA Vanuatu volunteers have distributed 320 much needed supplementary food parcels, enough to sustain a family of five people for up to two weeks, to displaced people in the ADRA-supported evacuation centers.

Currently there are nine ADRA-supported evacuation centers across the island of Efate, supporting and providing more than 1,000 displaced people with shelter. ADRA Vanuatu Country Director, Mark le Roux, is grateful to all the volunteers, and the effective coordination with our partners who are helping ADRA with the response.

“Our volunteers are working hard to make sure the distribution of the food parcels happens quickly to those who need them most,” said le Roux. “To effectively respond to the needs of the people, we rely on strong partnerships; with our local community, our volunteers, across all the agencies involved, and coordinated through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)”.

“Coordination and cooperation is essential to ensure long-term, future planning for the people of Vanuatu,” he said.

At this point, all ADRA staff that had been missing has been accounted for.

Cleanup After Cyclone Pam Begins

Cleanup begins in Vanuatu, ADRA’s response continues

PORT VILA, VANUATU— The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)

is playing a key role in securing the health and sanitation in 10 of the 20 evacuation centers in Port Vila. ADRA has made plumbed water available at nine of the 10 evacuation centers with the last evacuation center’s tank being refilled by the fire service.

The number of latrines in the evacuation centers is still inadequate, with as many as 300 people using one toilet. ADRA is continuing to provide hygiene information sessions in 10 evacuation centers. Field staff has already distributed hygiene supplies to families in the centers, including soap and other prepositioned materials.

“Ensuring good hygiene is critical following a disaster like this,” said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director. “Disease can spread quickly and with health services already stretched the situation can turn deadly.”

ADRA’s plan of action includes installing additional latrines, building temporary bathing facilities, and continuing hygiene messaging daily.

ADRA has also deployed a team of volunteers to help with cleanup efforts in the urban areas of Port Vila. Although the power outage continues, the weather has remained clear, allowing residents to start cleaning up and gathering what is left of their homes.

Logistical issues in response to the Cyclone Pam’s devastation are hampering the ability to respond on other islands.

“Communication between the islands is still down,” reported le Roux. “We still don’t have a good picture of the cyclone’s impact on many of the islands.”

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

Long Road Ahead for Vanuatu

“Severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu”

PORT VILA, VANUATU—“This is going to be a longterm recovery and rebuilding process for Vanuatu. Agriculture, houses, and infrastructure have been destroyed,” reported Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director reported after meetings with local partners and aid agencies. “This will be a severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu.”

The biggest challenge aid agencies like ADRA are facing at the moment is downed cellular networks on all the islands, but plans to respond are moving forward as humanitarian organizations meet to coordinate the response.

ADRA volunteers and staff members have already started visiting evacuation centers to conduct training on how disease spreads. In some evacuation centers there are up to 300 people per toilet, and there are no handwashing facilities.

“There is a very real threat of disease spreading in a situation like this,” explained LeRoux. “And there is a shortage of medical staff because some doctors have not been able to report to work.”

An old section of the hospital in Port Vila has been flooded out with patients being moved to a new wing of the hospital. Field staff reports that there aren’t enough beds and that  generator power was lost due to flood waters.

ADRA Vanuatu has still not heard from 10 staff members, 5 in Pentecost and 5 in Malakulo.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

Donate to ADRA’s emergency response fund.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

Cyclone Pam wreaks havoc in Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Pam wreaks havoc in Vanuatu, ADRA in place to respond

PORT VILA, VANUATU—Tropical Cyclone Pam ripped through the islands of Vanuatu yesterday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is already on the ground in place to respond in coordination with local partners and aid agencies.

Currently, ADRA is still waiting to hear from all of the ADRA Vanuatu team, including five missing in Pentecost and 5 in Malakula who have not been able to communicate due to downed cellular networks.

ADRA Vanuatu has been traveling around Port Vila to check on current conditions and reported that trees and power lines across the roads were blocking passage to main roads. The team also reported a “pre-organized evacuation center that started to get ripped apart during the night, so people had to be moved to another site in the middle of the cyclone.”

Field staff is also reporting that families whose homes have survived the last two cyclones lost their homes during Pam.

“Families are trying to gather as much as they can,” said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director. “Even sturdy houses didn’t make it—walls and roofs came down.”

ADRA is prepositioned to release emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea. The kits include soap, water filtration kits, and collapsible water containers. ADRA is prepared to participate in assessing the situation when the storm has passed to decide what local communities will need most.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

ADRA Prepares for Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu

ADRA ready to respond to Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU 4:30 p.m.—The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is on high alert as category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam hits the archipelago of Vanuatu.

ADRA is prepositioned to release emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea. The kits include soap, water filtration kits, and collapsible water containers. ADRA is prepared to participate in assessing the situation when the storm has passed to decide what local communities will need most.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the winds in the eye region of the storm are averaging up to 270 kph (167 mph) with gusts up to 340 kph (211 mph). Heavy to torrential rainfall and flooding, including flash flooding are expected as well as landslides and coastal flooding from storm surge.

There are already 450 people in evacuation centers in the northern provinces—mostly schools, churches, and government buildings. There are another two cyclones forming that could affect Vanuatu in the near future.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

Ebola Fight Continues

ADRA decontaminates homes, prevents spread of Ebola, Monday, January 26, 2015

Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.
ADRA staff, Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara, after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE— ADRA Sierra Leone is managing a decontamination center and deploying teams to the homes of Ebola victims to decontaminate exposed surfaces and prevent further spread of the virus.

ADRA Sierra Leone has decontaminated more than 988 homes since November 2014.

The Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Center (NERC) operates a hotline for the sick and relays information to the decontamination center that mobilizes teams to the homes. If needed, the center can first send an ambulance to pick up bodies or evacuate patients to designated Ebola treatment centers. ADRA Sierra Leone is running this program in conjunction with non-governmental organization Plan Sierra Leone.

Twelve teams of five have two disinfectors, two sprayers, and one driver. The disinfectors enter houses, spray down walls and surfaces, and remove infected materials. Sprayers wear gloves, a mask, rubber boots, and a backpack of chlorine solution to spray down the disinfectors once the job is finished. All team members wear personal protective equipment, and infected materials such as mattresses, bedding, blankets or mosquito nets are taken to a designated dumpsite run by ADRA staff and British and Sierra Leone military personnel.

ADRA Sierra Leone is also replacing items that have been removed with new ones.

The Ebola virus, easily spread through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person, can also be transmitted through contact with infected bedding, clothing, or surfaces. More than 8,641 reported people have died from the Ebola virus since the outbreak began last spring, including 3,145 in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For 30 years, ADRA’s mission has been to follow Christ’s example of serving, partnering with, and being a voice for those in need. ADRA works in more than 130 countries providing community development and emergency management.

Oklahoma Tornadoes

On the Ground: ADRA International Responds to the Oklahoma Tornado Devastation

On Monday, May 20, a tornado raked through parts of Oklahoma with winds that exceeded 200 miles per hour, leaving a trail of destruction about 17 miles long. This has caused the destruction of thousands of properties and has injured hundreds of people. Emergency workers have pulled more than 100 survivors from the debris of homes, schools, and hospitals. The majority of the damage took place in the city of Moore, Oklahoma.

Along with government officials and other humanitarian organizations, ADRA International and Adventist Community Services (ACS) are currently assisting survivors by assembling and delivering cleaning kits, food, clothing, and equipment for cleaning debris in homes and buildings. Due to the severe damage in the City of Moore, access to this area is limited. ACS and ADRA will continue to distribute aid throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend.

ADRA International has committed $50,000 of emergency funds to continue to assist the affected areas. Please continue to pray for the families affected by this tornado and especially those who have lost children and other loved ones.

Congolese Refugees in Rwanda

Rwanda: ADRA Improves Condition of Hygiene in Transit Camp

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The political climate in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been volatile since the highly disputed presidential elections of November 2011. Since then, Congolese refugees have been seeking shelter in Rwanda, escaping clashes between DRC government forces and armed militia. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is working in Rwanda’s Nkamira transit camp, improving the condition of the camp’s sanitation in efforts to reduce the spread of disease.

A rapid assessment conducted by ADRA revealed some of the most urgent needs were food, shelter, and water, in addition to improving sanitation issues concerning latrines and waste bins. ADRA, in coordination with CARE and Oxfam, are responding to the deteriorating hygiene infrastructure within the camp, with each organization addressing specific needs. ADRA is directing its response to the shortage of functional latrines, and is doing so by donating and installing 20 latrines to the camp. This new addition is expected to benefit 1,000 beneficiaries.

An estimated 100 latrines are currently available throughout the Nkamira camp, which is home to nearly 7,000 refugees. According to Agency reports, a number of the latrines have been in use for several years, and are soon expected to become full and out of service. Additionally, ongoing heavy rains in the region have led to numerous expanses of stagnant water ridden with bacteria, which is increasing the risk of an outbreak of Cholera and other similar diseases.

As ADRA’s response expands, more information will be posted.

To help support ADRA’s life-saving work, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

Responding in Peru

Peru: Extreme Weather Patterns Threaten Vulnerable Communities, ADRA Responds

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is assisting families in Peru’s southeastern region, who have been enduring harsh weather conditions during this year’s first quarter. The region has been severely affected by heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and strong winds, leading to the overflow of rivers and landslides. Below-freezing temperatures have followed this rainy season, which has triggered the threat of frostbite to vulnerable residents, amongst them children and the elderly.

ADRA is delivering blankets to an estimated 700 families affected by the cold spell in the District of Velille. The blankets will serve as a protective barrier against the cold, with priority given to children, elderly, and families living in higher-altitude areas. In total, ADRA will be distributing approximately 1,400 blankets to its beneficiaries, equating to two blankets per family. ADRA’s 12-day intervention will complement aid distributed by local government institutions that are also responding to the current situation.

Velille District is housed in the Chumbivilcas province of Peru, and is considered one of the poorest regions in the country. Velille is home to approximately 8,000 people, with approximately a quarter of the population under the age of five.

This response has been funded in part by ADRA International, and ADRA’s South American Division office in the amount of $20,000.

To contribute to ADRA’s humanitarian efforts, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org

Drought and Famine in Horn of Africa

Somalia: ADRA Calls on International Community for Continued Support in Wake of Uncertain Future

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Horn of Africa is no stranger to drought, which was most recently demonstrated in 2011 as the region grappled through a deadly famine, and according to the World Food Program affected 13 million people to date. Somalia in particular experienced devastating levels of malnutrition, leaving millions of people and their livestock in dire need of aid. Following an influx of humanitarian assistance, and an improvement in the critical rainy season, Somalia began to regain momentum towards recovery. However, a coalition of aid agencies working in the region say Somalia is not out of harms way yet, and that prioritized attention is still needed to ensure Somalia’s full recovery.

ADRA Somalia is one of 19 agencies that collectively called on the international community for continued attention and financial support for relief programs to assist Somalia. This call for sustained help is in part related to the unfavorable forecast of insufficient rains that the region greatly depends on, which will result in an increased number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

A statement made by the coalition of aid agencies states that, “According to FEWSNET (the Famine Early Warning Systems Network), the rains in the Eastern Horn of Africa are expected to begin late, to be poorly distributed over space and time, and to total only 60‐85 percent of average. This is a significant deterioration compared to earlier forecasts, and would have significant impacts on crop production, pasture regeneration, and the replenishment of water resources. In the worst‐case scenario of 60 percent of average rainfall, this would result in a major failure of the Eastern Horn’s main growing season, similar to seasonal performance last year. That season’s failure contributed to the 2011 food crisis.”

Many communities in Somalia affected by last year’s drought have yet to fully recover and remain in a fragile state. With the threatening future of inadequate rains, advances made towards recovery will be reversed, thrusting Somalia back into the fatal cycle of famine.

The coalition outlined the following to address the pending emergency, “The agencies ask all donors to change their funding strategies to adapt to the Somalia context and help Somali communities build their resilience to future shocks. To do so, flexible multi-annual funding for livelihood support, disaster risk reduction and basic services are required, that can adapt to fluid access conditions and rapidly changing needs. Donors must support a forward-looking, fully funded donor strategy by building the capacity of both Somali communities and civil society to prevent, mitigate, prepare and respond to the kinds of crises to which Somalia is prone.” Click here to read the full version of the coalition’s call for continued support.

ADRA remains committed to the full recovery of Somalia and is calling on the international community to take heed of these early warning signs. Action is essential in order to prevent the unnecessary suffering and loss of human and livestock life.

To send your contribution to ADRA’s Emergency Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org