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Wednesday 14 November 2012

ShelterBox works with Rotary in flooded Nigeria
ShelterBox works with Rotary in flooded Nigeria Photo by Mike Greenslade. Flood waters recede slowly near Akinima, Rivers State, Nigeria, November 2012. The Niger Delta states were severely affected by the worst floods in 50 years in August 2012.

The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) on the ground in Nigeria has been working with Rotary in the flood stricken country, while awaiting the arrival of the first consignment of boxes.

SRT members, Mike Greenslade (AU) and Derek Locke (US), flew south to Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, to meet with Rotary and local government contacts to continue assessing the need for emergency shelter.

“Many of the flood affected areas remain underwater and unseasonal daily rainstorms have only intensified the situation,” said Greenslade.

“Following a meeting with the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Tele Ikuru, we were shown around some of the temporary camps in local schools. The displaced people are being well looked after but conditions are crowded. In Mbiama, there were 1,800 people sharing one school, in Akinima, another 1,000.

Photo by Mike Greenslade. Young mother with baby sheltering in a school in Mbiama, Rivers State, Nigeria, following extensive flooding. The school is a temporary home to 1,800 people, November 2012.

“His Excellency said we have arrived at a critical time because many people are ready to move back to their land as soon as the water recedes. ShelterBox can provide a solution for those whose homes are badly damaged or completely destroyed, while they begin to rebuild their lives.”

Meanwhile, in Idah, Kogi State, preparations for the first ShelterBox camp are well underway.

“We've been working closely with the local government liaison officers and are really pleased with progress on the first camp,” said Locke. “Pit latrines have been dug and a bore hole drilled for the provision of fresh water. We eagerly await the imminent arrival of our first boxes.”

A second SRT comprising of Ian Neal (UK) and Tom Newman (UK) has arrived safely in country and the handover process is well underway.

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