Rotary Down Under & ShelterBox Australia Provide Rapid Earthquake Relief
December 2018 – January 2019 Issue, Published in RotaryDownUnder.org
ON Sunday, August 5, less than one week after the initial tremor that killed 17 people and injured hundreds, an even more devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the small Indonesian island of Lombok. The disaster spread a wave of terror and panic through the community, which had already been brought to its knees. Thousands more homes, businesses and livelihoods were left damaged or completely flattened by the disaster. Over 550 lives were lost, more than 1300 people were injured, and 353,000 individuals found themselves internally displaced – those who survived were left with nothing.
Once in the country, under the umbrella of the Indonesian Government response,the team worked arm in arm with the local Rotary clubs. Together, they took to assessing the damage and tackling the logistics of supplying emergency shelter and aid to some of the worst-affected regions.
Australian ShelterBox Response Team volunteer and Rotaractor Katelyn Winkworth played an instrumental part in delivering aid to families in desperate need. “ The response in Lombok demonstrated the importance and value of ShelterBox and Rotary’s relationship,” Katelyn said. “The Indonesian Rotary clubs played a vital role in this response, with Rotarians helping at all levels. From helping procure local resources, sourcing local transport and warehousing, through to working with communities to identify those most in need, Rotary proved to be People of Action.”
“For ShelterBox, working together with local Rotarians was vital to ensuring our aid was distributed to those most in need. And as a fellow Rotaractor, I am proud to be a part of such an incredible movement, seeing the important part Rotary plays.” Throughout September and into October, Katelyn and her team successfully delivered a total of 672 ShelterBoxes to some of the most disaster-stricken communities in Lombok. Each box contained a sturdy family-sized tent, providing those displaced with a safe place to sleep, eat, rest and recover.
“The situation in Lombok was serious, with some communities being hit much harder than others. The devastation left the most vulnerable people at the highest risk, and we heard many stories of young children becoming ill due to the cramped conditions in the temporary camps. Providing ShelterBoxes to the most vulnerable groups meant that families could move back to their home site and into conditions that were safer, while also creating more room for those remaining in the camps. The local communities and families were incredibly resilient, and it was fantastic to see people working together to create safety and space for their communities while they began to recover and rebuild,” Katelyn said.
ShelterBox’s recent deployment in Lombok is testament to the value and importance of ShelterBox and Rotary’s long-standing project partnership – standing together, joining forces and combining efforts for the greater good. Please visit Rotary/ShelterBox Australia to learn more about Rotary’s important relationship with ShelterBox and explore volunteering opportunities.