Saturday 16 January 2010
Hundreds of ShelterBoxes due to arrive in HaitiHundreds of ShelterBoxes are being packed round the clock
More than 200 ShelterBoxes are set to arrive in Port au Prince, Haiti later today.
256 ShelterBoxes that were dispatched from the prepositioned stock in Curacoa on Wednesday are due to touch down in Haiti late this afternoon, Haitian time, providing the plane they are on is cleared to land. However, the situation in Port au Prince is extremely fluid and logistics are changing minute by minute.
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members David Eby (US), Wayne Robinson (US) and Mark Pearson (UK) have been in Port au Prince since Thursday and have been working around the clock assessing the most effective ways to distribute the much needed aid.
The Response Team says the situation on the ground is frantic but there doing all they can to make sure they deliver aid into Port au Prince as quickly as they can.
‘So much destruction’
Mark Pearson, who was one of the first on the ground after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, said: ‘This is worse than the tsunami. It’s utter chaos at the airport. Buildings have been completely destroyed, the hospital has been destroyed. It’s a full scale emergency, there’s so much destruction.
‘The priority at the moment is search and rescue and then after that emergency shelter provision, so obviously there’s frustration. There’s no fuel and people are hunting for water. It’s difficult to put the scale of destruction into words.’
A second Response Team, consisting of SRT members Mark Dyer and John Lacquey (both US), are in Miami, USA coordinating the ShelterBox logistical effort into Haiti from there. They will be joined later today by SRT member Ian Neal (UK) who will be travelling with the ShelterBoxes which are being shipped through Miami.
Before he left the UK, Ian said: ‘I’m tasked with delivering emergency shelter to people affected by the earthquake. I’m just focusing on the good we can do.
‘Every disaster comes with shocking images but I’m going to focus on giving help to the people who have survived the earthquake. We’re just waiting for the ShelterBoxes to arrive which should be very soon.’
Click here to watch a video interview with Ian Neal before he left for Haiti
A Virgin Atlantic flight, loaded with ShelterBoxes, left the UK today heading for Miami. Virgin Atlantic is flying ShelterBoxes out of London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports. Volunteers at ShelterBox UK have worked through the night packing boxes and will still be in full swing throughout the weekend.
Volunteers pack ShelterBoxes into the night
ShelterBox’s Head of Operations, John Leach, added: ‘We’re doing all we can both here and in Port au Prince to clear the plane from Curacao for landing and we’re also awaiting confirmation that the 70 boxes sent from El Salvador have arrived.
‘The efforts ShelterBox volunteers and supporters are going to right around the world is a true testament to the organisation. The job of getting aid to Haiti is well underway but there’s more hard work ahead. Please help in anyway if you can.'
If you can help support ShelterBox's work around the globe in any way, great or small, please click here.
Head of Operations John Leach is doing all he can to get ShelterBoxes on the ground