Here is a report about District 7000 Disaster Relief Efforts during the past weeks. As you know, communication unstable connections does not allow to be connected in a regular basis. This is a summary about initial work of Clubs to provide humanitarian aid around the Island. Now, we are moving to a second phase in where Clubs going to present ideas about specific projects they can do in their communities in a mid and long term efforts. Now that I have a better Internet connection I send you this report with some photos.
Thanks for your efforts to provide support to Puerto Rico. We still working to risen up our Island.
Jose Lucas Rodriguez
Although assistance from the US and PR governments has been slow at times, progress has been made to the extent we have been able to activate all of our Rotary clubs in PR. As of today, only 13% of the population has electricity. Transportation within the Island remains challenging in many regions. Thus, the towns and areas where resources are needed the most still remain difficult to get to. This could be because of non-stop rains since hurricane Maria reached Puerto Rico causing extended flooding, landslides, caved-in highways and/or collapsed bridges.
Even under these circumstances and personal challenges some local rotarians are enduring due to hurricane Maria effects, Rotarian response has been impressive. Some clubs have aided with the distribution of items sent to District 7000 directly, after doing an assessment of needs in the areas where their clubs are located. Other clubs have assessed needs too but are distributing items their clubs have collected in Puerto Rico.
The following is a list of only some of the work that has been done so far. It is not exhaustive. Among Rotary Clubs we have established working teams to be more effective:
—Rotary Clubs such as Manati, El Vigia, Mayagüez, Humacao, Yauco, Quebradillas and Añasco delivered generators to patients with medical needs that require this sort of equipment. These generators were donated by District 6990.
—Rotary Clubs of Humacao, Guayama and Manati distributed food, clothing and other items that they directly raised to communities with most needs within their areas. Other Rotary Clubs that have developed their own initiatives to assist their nearby communities are the clubs of San Juan (water filters and solar lights distribution) and Rio Piedras (feeding the homeless).
— -Rotary Club of El Vigia and Perla del Sur is distributing MREs to small towns in great need of food in the Ponce mountains.
—Rotary Clubs located in the Northwestern region of the Island, like Camuy-Hatillo, Moca, Quebradillas, Mayaguez, Añasco, Yauco have distributed food, cleaning supplies, diapers, personal hygiene items and more. These items were obtained through District 7000 efforts.
—Rotary Clubs such as Guaynabo and others are currently assessing needs of barrios within their areas that are in great need and remain somewhat incommunicado.
—Rotary Club of Cidra has been very active raising and delivering varied supplies to their area.
—Rotary Clubs of Dorado, E-Club, Rio Piedras and Manati delivered drinking water and food in hard to reach communities in Corozal.
—Rotary Club of Manati has been providing food to volunteers working at the military hospital located in their area
—Rotary Club of Fajardo has been providing food, drinking water, hygiene products and other essentials to women and their children residing in battered women shelters.
— Rotaract Club from PUCPR Arecibo provided drinking water and food to the townspeople of Lares. One of the towns that it’s very challenging to get there.
—Rotaract Metro Club distributed food to people in the towns of Corozal, Ciales, Morovis and Orocovis.
—District 7000 together with its Rotary Clubs of Yauco, El Vigia, San Juan, Perla del Sed with the Puerto Rico Department of State to distribute bottled water in hard to reach towns in dire need such as Adjuntas and nearby communities.
—Rotary Clubs of San German and Yauco worked on effective planning, transportation and logistics for delivery of meals, drinking water and other items to inaccessible nearby mountain towns.
We are also working with other Rotary Clubs that have arrived to help, such as members of the RC of Inwood, NY, and corps of non-Rotarian volunteers that have come to provide assistance.
District 7000, is working with several Districts and Rotary clubs in the US and two in Canada raising in-kind and monies donations. Practically all the district has received has been in-kind support mainly of food and water, although we have also received water filters, cleaning supplies, diapers, medications, generators, chainsaws, clothing, generators. Locally, some Puerto Rico residents have also donated needed items directly to Rotary Clubs and have been distributed directly by them. District 7000 has received several promises of shipment of varied needed goods.
We are expanding into phase 2 of assistance: mid and long-term recovery projects. Those are, in no particular order:
—Project 1: providing solar lamps and alternative energy
—Project 2: providing and installing weatherproof tarps
—Project 3: making preliminary repairs to victims’ homes so families will be protected from the elements and pests until they are provided with a more permanent solution.
—Project 4: reforestation and seeds project
We will continue giving all necessary help to communities that need it as we have done and are doing in phase 1. The local government has estimated that at least 300,000 families have lost their homes. In some communities, 90% were destroyed.
Items currently needed:
—Mosquito repellent with DEET and mosquito nets.
—Solar lamps, preferably with an USB entry to charge cell phones
—Weatherproof tarps at least 20’ x 20’
—Wood panels and construction repair kits
—Generators. For Retirement homes, at home patients with specific needs, shelters, etc.
Ways to contribute to support our efforts:
—DAF #614 – The Rotary Foundation
By check, credit card, wire transfer, or stock transfer. All contributions must go directly to the DAF account and be in U.S. dollars. Please see the detailed instructions on page 2. Only U.S. tax receipts can be issued. On all contributions, please be sure to reference the fund account name and account number.
–-By Check or Electronic Transfer, use:
ORIENTAL BANK: routing# 221571415, account# 7922165229
District 7000 Disaster Relief team:
2017-2018 District Governor
Cell. (787) 632-1275