Pure Water for the World

If you are concerned that your donation will not get to Haiti for several weeks or more, here is a local-to-local solution sent by Roger Annis of Haiti Solidarity BC, an affiliate of Canada Haiti Action Network.
January 16, 2010
Readers of this list and message have a unique opportunity to contribute directly to earthquake relief in Port au Prince. Vancouver filmmaker Elaine Briere returned from Haiti two days before the earthquake and is returning next week. She will join her partner, David Putt, and his two colleagues from Nelson BC who travelled to Haiti in December to volunteer on installation of water purification projects in the Delmas 33 district of Port au Prince. They work with Pure Water for the World. For more information on its work, see the web link below.

The project, its staff and volunteers have survived the earthquake. They are able to continue building and distributing purification units. Elaine has asked Haiti Solidarity BC to issue this appeal on her behalf for financial support so that the project can hire Haitian staff, expand its work and train Haitians as it grows. Their initial goal is to hire five more people locally. The need for this kind technology in Haiti is more critical than ever.

Donations to this project can be made online, BUT WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN THIS MONEY WOULD ARRIVE BECAUSE OF BROKEN COMMUNICATIONS WITH HAITI. SO INSTEAD, we are asking for pledges over the next four days so that funds will be transported directly. This is now the only way for funds to reach Haiti.

We hope to raise several thousand dollars before Elaine's departure. Please let us know your pledge by phone or e-mail, and you can mail cheques to:
Haiti Solidarity BC
3528 Seagull Place
Vancouver BC V5S4E9

If anyone knows of a fundraising effort looking for a very worthy recipient such as this one, please let us know. For other projects, you can go to the website of the Canada Haiti Action Network,http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca .

To pledge, or to assist in other ways:
By phone: 778 858 5179
By e-mail: Send a reply to this note, or email rogerannis@hotmail.com

In solidarity,

Roger Annis
For Haiti Solidarity BC

You can read about Pure Water for the World and communicate with it at the website below. The website can receive donations, but it is not known when funds could arrive in Haiti. It is a registered charitable organization in the U.S. only, not in Canada.



Dear Peace Coalitioners


The gravity of the situation in Haiti is all the more alarming when on-the-ground reports reveal that aid workers and supplies are not reaching the trapped and dying.  The rescue teams in the slums have mostly been people digging with their bare hands. There is something systemically wrong here.
Below the article are some aid organizations that are highly recommended by Canada Haiti Action.
By Roger Annis

January 15--Evidence of monstrous neglect of the Haitian people is mounting following the catastrophic earthquake three days ago. As life-saving medical supplies, food, water purification chemicals and vehicles pile up at the airport in Port au Prince, and as news networks report a massive international effort to deliver emergency aid, the people in the shattered city are wondering when they will see help.

BBC World Service reports that Haitian officials now fear the death toll could rise to 140,000. Three million people are homeless.

BBC reporter Andy Gallagher told an 8 pm (Pacific Time) broadcast tonight that he had traveled "extensively" in Port au Prince during the day and saw little sign of aid delivery. He said he was shown nothing but courtesy by the Haitians he encountered. Everywhere he went he was taken by residents to see what had happened to their neighbourhood, their homes and their lives. Then they asked, "Where is the help?"

"When the Rescue teams arrive," Gallagher said, "they will be welcomed with open arms."

CBC Radio One's As It Happens broadcast an interview this evening with a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He said he spent the morning touring one of the hardest hit areas of the city (the district was not named), in the hills that rise from the flat plain on which sits historic Port au Prince. "In three hours, I didn’t see a single rescue team."

The BBC report contrasts starkly with warnings of looting and violence that fill the airwaves of news channels such as CNN and are being voiced by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He was asked by media in Washington why relief supplies were not being delivered by air. He answered, "It seems to me that air drops will simply lead to riots."

Gates says that "security" concerns are impeding the delivery of aid. But Gallagher responded directly to that in his report, saying, "I'm not experiencing that."

Describing the airport, Gallagher reported, "There are plenty of materials on the ground and plenty of people there. I don't know what the problem is with delivery."

Nan Buzard, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, was interviewed on the same BBC broadcast about the problem with aid delivery. She implied that there were not, in fact, many supplies at the airport to be moved, that many of the planes that have been landing were filled with people, not supplies.

When pressed by the BBC host why aid was not being moved into the city, Buzard conceded she was "surprised" that it was not being airlifted in.

The BBC's is not the only report to contradict exaggerated security concerns. The daily report on the website of Doctors Without Borders one day after the earthquake said, "Some parts of the city are without electricity and people have gathered outside, lighting fires in the street and trying to help and comfort each other. When they saw that I was from MSF they were asking for help, particularly to treat their wounded. There was strong solidarity among people in the streets."

An e-mailed report received by the Canada Haiti Action Network describes a city largely bereft of international aid. "Thus far," it reports, "the rescue teams cluster at the high profile and safer walled sites and were literally afraid to enter the barrios. They gravitated to the sites where they had secure compounds and big buildings.

"Meanwhile, the neighbourhoods where the damage appears to be much wider, and anywhere there were loose crowds, they avoided. In the large sites, and in the nice neighbourhoods, and where the press can be found, there would be teams from every country imaginable. Dogs and extraction units with more arriving, yet with 90% or more of them just sitting around."

"Meanwhile, in the poor neighbourhoods, awash in rubble, there was not a foreigner in sight.

"News crews are looking for the story of desperate Haitians that are in hysterics. When in reality it is more often the Haitians that are acting calmly while the international community, the elite and politicians have melted down over the issue, and none seem to have the remotest idea what is going on."

The report says that most of the staff of the U.S. embassy and US AID complex (located a stone’s throw from the oceanfront) have fled and buildings are largely empty, even though the streets in the area are clear.

Yesterday, BBC broadcast an interview with Mark Stuart, a director of an orphanage in Jacmel, a city of 50,000 on Haiti's south coast, 50 km south of Port au Prince. Aerial footage showed catastrophic damage. Stuart appealed for international relief, saying that food and water supplies would soon run out and no aid whatsoever had arrived.

An article on the website of a Chicago publication says a trickle of aid arrived today but the road between Port and Prince and Jacmel is impassable.

Roger Annis is a coordinator of the Canada Haiti Action Network in Vancouver. He can be reached at rogerannis(at)hotmail.com.



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