Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 7, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

June 7, 2010 - Extraordinary Day
Extraordinary Trip
Extraordinary Meeting
Extraordinary Achievements
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

I wanted to provide a very brief synopsis of our Extraordinary Day today spent in Port au Prince Haiti with our Haiti Task Force. I needed to do so because you have not heard from me in some time. In addition, this was one of the most successful Rotary Days I believe I have ever experienced and want to share it.

The primary purpose of the trip was to have the Donor Advised Fund (DAF) Account Holders go to Haiti to meet the Task Force. The DAF Account Holders are made up of the following Rotarians

-- Rotary Vice President and current Board member Eric Adamson
-- PRID Bob Stuart
-- PRID Barry Rassin
-- RIDE John Smarge

They wanted to listen to, and understand, the needs as defined and expressed by the Rotary Clubs of Haiti and the Haiti leadership Team. They also wanted to understand from the senior people in the Haitian Government, responsible for Education in Haiti, what their plans were and what recommendations they had.

The Account Holders also wanted to reach a consensus on our direction forward based on these discussions.

In addition, it was an opportunity for them to establish the criteria and procedural requirements that will need to be met to receive funding.

There was a VERY productive meeting on that, and PRID Barry Rassin will elaborate in much more detail. A Special Thank you again to Barry for his commitment to our great District.

In addition to that, we were dealing with three other major issues:

(1) Firstly the current status of the Rotary NGO in Haiti, ROTAH,
(2) Secondly The Jaipur Limb Project, and
(3) Thirdly the status and release information on the containers we shipped.

(1) Current status of the Rotary NGO in Haiti, ROTAH. On the First item I must say I am absolutely ecstatic about the news on ROTAH. I was presented with a copy of the document signed by the Prime Minister, etc., as proof that the process has been completed. Within days, the official published certificate will be in hand, and published in Haiti.

This was an enormous undertaking that has taken us three years and through some of the most difficult challenges and obstacles you can imagine. But we believed in it, and it is a reality today.

I want to recognize, and thank, DGN Guy Theodore, Dr. Claude Surena, and PDG Amos Durosier for everything they have done. This approval was in the true sense of the word “raised from the rubble” after the earthquake and it would not have been possible without the persistence of these fine Rotarians. THANK YOU!!!!

(2) Jaipur Limb Project. The second item was the Jaipur Limb project. We have agreed that we would undertake this as one of our primary earthquake relief responses, and are now moving forward with the consensus of all the Haitian clubs and leaders to proceed.

We believe a modified version which includes a mobile clinic will be the best one, and we will immediately begin to define the scope of the project with the new conditions applied. It is likely that the DAF would provide some seed funding for this as well, if it is required, although we do not believe that to be the case.

(3) The containers we shipped. The third item was the status of the relief containers and the release of them. Again we have very good news here. For those who do not know, PDG Amos Durosier heads up the Anti-Corruption unit of the Haitian government. His involvement with the top levels of the Haitian government is daily, so he knows them all personally and well. The release documents have been signed off by the Ministry of Interior and Planning Department (I think I have that right), and will be delivered to the Minister of Finance today as we fly back to
Nassau or tomorrow.

PDG Amos has already presented this to the Minister of Finance, and he assured Amos that he will sign off on it as soon as it touches his desk. He also said he would be sure to ask for it so it reached his desk immediately.

For those of you who know Haiti, we have done the equivalent of moving a mountain here. We went the legitimate process all above board and got it done. A very special congratulations to all the fellow Haitian Rotarians who made this possible, and there were many.

Going forward, our NGO status with ROTAH takes all of the challenges we have had with this shipment off the table, as the shipment goes Directly to Customs with our Status Certificate.

When we left, we felt the Task Force was untied and organized and fully up to the challenges ahead.

We are in flight on the way back to Nassau, (3 1/2 hours each way) and I think I can say that I speak for everyone on the plane. It was a GREAT DAY !!!!

Many more details to follow, but as always,our Supreme Rotarian PRID Barry Rassin will be putting out a comprehensive summary covering everything.

Thanks to Vance Johnson our pilot, and Odyssey for their great support.

PDG Dick

March 30, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Another Mini update March 30, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

I have been remiss in not updating all of you on the continued progress with our Haiti Relief effort. As I mentioned in the last update, our mid-term focus was going to be

-- schools
-- to complete the consolidation of relief supplies on the way to Haiti
-- to help facilitate that exercise through our Charter from Nassau.

This charter is leaving with 68 20’-Containers or equivalents on it FULL of Rotary supplied or coordinated Relief supplies.

Many Districts and Clubs have continued to send relief goods to be consolidated and shipped through our shipper in the US. Thanks to Larry Labadie and Phil Lustig, this has gone well state side.

There has been one disappointment with this exercise but I believe it has been resolved. The ship was to have left 3 weeks ago, but due to the following, it has been delayed and leaves next week.

The first obstacle was that we needed to get approval from the Bahamian Government to transship the ship load of containers through the Bahamas. This was necessary because some of the containers (23) were being filled in Nassau from Relief Supplies sourced in and through Nassau, which meant that they had to be off-loaded

This approval process took a bit over a week. When approval had been received, it took an additional week for ACL to coordinate the container movement to Nassau. The approval unfortunately came after the ship was scheduled for another Humanitarian trip to Haiti that had delays in the offloading. What does that mean? We are running very late!!!!!

We have containers of medical supplies, tents, Xtra Large School tents, building materials for school desks and benches, ambulances, buses, trucks, hospital beds, awnings, beds and mats, clothing, some food and water items, prepackaged meals, and much much more. When the containers arrive in Haiti, they will be distributed to the selected communities that they have been packed for by Chatelain Cargo, a fellow Haitian Rotarian, so we are confident that that exercise will be swift.

On arrival in the communities, the Rotarians will erect the tents and begin to make space for the expanded population of students while local labour will assemble the desks and chairs and get paid for doing so. This should help with the kids in school and add some local employment.

At our Haiti Task Force meeting in Miami, we had asked the Rotary Clubs through the Assistant Governors to submit their needs lists so we could allocate additional resources depending on the latest needs identified. Unfortunately we are still waiting for submissions from some Club Presidents, and have others that are requests for well beyond what our funding capabilities are. We are working through this but it is taking some time.

Once we have all the information consolidated, we will try to make it available to all clubs in Zones 33 and 34.

We are anxiously awaiting the final draft of the PDNA and the scheduled review of the document by all parties. Unfortunately this information has also been hard to come by in any reliable form, so we are standing by for the information and ready to move when we get it.

Finally, the rainy season has begun, and the challenges in Haiti for Shelter and Health issues will only grow exponentially, so pray hard and hope what we do achieve will make a difference to those that need it most.

PDG Dick

March 2, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Brief Haiti Task Force Update March 2, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

At District 7020’s Leadership Training in Miami last weekend,we had the opportunity to meet with most of the members of the Haiti Task Force at once. What a great opportunity to share our thoughts and experiences through all this.

The purpose of the meeting was as follows:

-- To understand the most current critical needs that that our Haiti Ground Team feels we must focus on medium-term while agreeing to commit to a long-term sustainable solution for the country to be decided after the PDNA is completed.

We went around the table and got everyone’s input as to what we needed to do next, and how we should approach the future needs of the country. The response was amazingly consistent.

In the short-term, we need to address the overpopulation of the schools in the various regions and do what we can to get as many of the children as possible back to school. That will involve a number of things ,depending on the particular region, but classroom shelters by way of tents or other structures, desks, benches, materials for those items, meals and tuition fees are at the top of the list.

-- We have asked each Club President through the Assistant Governor to identify one school in each Rotary Community that needs our assistance, and to provide us with an exact list of what we can provide for each school to meet our objective of providing a place for schooling and social activity for the refugee children.

It was also suggested that the displaced senior students and university students be used as tutors in the school system to make up for the extra students and limited additional teachers. This will be completed by week’s end, and we will evaluate, based on the magnitude of the requests, and decide what we can do.

We urgently need 20’ through 60’ tents for this purpose, and hope you can all call someone to who might have access to one or two. They do not have to be new or any exact shape or size. Please put the word out.

-- We have agreed that our response for the long-term sustainable recovery will depend on the competition of the PDNA and the recommendations that come from the United Nations' review of that document with the international rebuilding partners.

-- We have agreed to put forward Haitian Rotarian Kyss Jean-Mary as our representative on the PDNA committee in Port au Prince. I will send a letter confirming that to the Prime Minister of Haiti later today.

-- Barry Rassin will be assisting with the Rotary presence at the United Nations when the recommendations are reviewed at that level.

-- We asked each assistant Governor to provide us with a synopsis of their respective clubs' health and to report back to me by week’s end.

-- Barry is following up on our proposed $50,000 contribution for seeds through the UN Agricultural Cluster. I am getting information to clarify the routing of the funds.

-- ROTAH (Regroupement Oeuvrant a Travers des Actions Humanitaires en Hait) will have its NGO status finalized this week and will be used as our primary consignee for the relief aid we send to Haiti.

-- We discussed many options and possible directions for Rotary to go in the rebuilding plan and were quoted a Haitian saying which I want to share with you all.

"A dog has 4 paws, but can only go one place at a time."

February 20, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti update February 20, 2010
A bitter sweet day in 3 parts
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

(1) Warehousing and supplies

We had a very exciting and productive day yesterday in Port au Prince. Although it was painfully real, it alsosgave me a better sense of our direction going forward and a comfort that we were in Sync with the Rotarians in Haiti and the Government of Haiti.

I had arranged a meeting with the Prime Minister of Haiti to discuss numerous issues but mainly to understand if Rotary, and specifically our District 7020, was approaching our relief and recovery initiatives with the right priorities in the mind of the Haitien Government. I asked PRID Barry to go with me for wisdom and support, and The Haitien Ambassador to the Bahamas, as he has been very helpful and supportive to us.

Once again, Odyssey, and Saga Boy Holdings provided the Caravan and their team of Captians, Paul Aranah and Paul Pyfrom took command of getting us to Port au Prince and back. We were wheels up at 5:00 a.m. and landed back in Nassau shortly before 7:00 p.m., with on-the-ground time of approximately 6 hours.

As usual, the Haiti on-the-ground team was extraordinary. Claude and his team met us at the airport and took us across the road to their warehousing centre. That in itself was an instant education! They are working from a yard and a couple of 40’ containers as their distribution point.

The reason the distribution had been stopped a couple of days back was because the perimeter wall had fallen down, and all the people from the shelter camps that surround the area could not be controlled. The wall has since been rebuilt and they were distributing supplies when we arrived.

The two containers of supplies from St. Maarten have arrived, and been distributed along with on additional one from the US. There are two there right now from the DR District 4060 which have been mostly emptied.

They message is clear. We need to get them some containers. We have a vessel planned leaving Nassau the second week in March. It can carry 60 20’-containers. We had planned to buy 20 or so containers and send them down full and to leave them. The balance of supplies we would palletize into containers and unload when we arrived in Haiti.

That will not do. I believe our objective now must be to buy all the containers on
the ship and leave them all there. Containers are available in the United States from Omega Container Services for $1,375 for a 20’, and a couple of hundred more for a 40’. Please see if your club, or corporate sponsor or someone, can help with the funding for these additional containers.

(2) The painful reality of the tour

After the distribution site, we toured Port au Prince and Petion-Ville. I can only tell you that I felt my expectation of what I would see was based on my experience in Haiti and a very informed understanding of what the infrastructure was pre-earthquake and how desperate the situation was pre-earthquake.

I must tell you that I was shocked beyond words at the destruction and magnitude of the disaster. While I expected tosee thousands of crumbled buildings and the devastation, I had no idea it could be so bad.

As we drove block after block, we saw either all, or every couple of buildings, imploded. It pained me to know that in most of them there could have been anywhere from 1 to 50 or 60 dead people still in the rubble never to be found, claimed or even buried.

Besides the imploded buildings, fallen walls, cracked and broken structures, the entire infrastructure was also lying on the ground pushed to the side. Things like powerlines, phone lines, and water lines. This was amplified by the sewage and water running down the streets carrying the garbage and loose possessions.

Anywhere that there was a clear spot, tent cities had popped up. There were 100’s of them made up of 10’s of thousands of tents and home-made shelters, randomly placed and very tightly packed together. Tents of all descriptions made up the camps. Many UN or international agency tents that were identifiable by the orderly fashion they were placed, but it was clear they were soon crowded out by tents made from everything one could imagine around them.

Some tents were framed from reused rebar from a crumbled building and wrapped in cardboard and remnants of clothes found after the earthquake. Others were framed from sticks and covered with pieces of material rescued from the streets after the earthquake. Interestingly enough, on our tour we saw very few shelterboxes.

I saw a couple of them on the side of a street where they acted as the safe home for a displaced family from a home that still stood but was cracked and the residents were afraid to move back into it. I guess the lack of sightings could be because of the lack of on-the-ground Rotary involvement, and maybe they were in locations unknown to the local Rotary clubs. Too bad!!

As a quick perspective, I was told the following.

-- 15% of the country is now homeless
-- additionally 10% are displaced

I was also told that they have estimated that, if they were to take 1000 loads of rubble per day from the streets, it would take a full 2 years to remove all the destruction. I saw it and believe it, but cannot comprehend what that means to those trying to chart the way forward for this desperate country!

We passed by the water commission where they were training some staff on the needs for the latrines, and the message they needed to share with the Tent City residents pertaining to drinking water, sanitation and latrine use.

If you can imagine, the latrines should ideally be distributed to a ratio of 1 per 50 shelter residents. They are currently about 1 per 2000+. I will leave your imagination to figure out the rest.

The water commission is responsible for the delivery of clean drinking water to the camps. It is also charged with the delivery and maintenance of the latrines for those camps. They are really, like everybody else in Haiti, being pushed to the
limit, but they are doing an amazing job. They have an additional 4000 latrines coming but need another 10,000. Something to think about.

The water commission is also distributing the Water Survival Boxes from Rotary in the UK. They are the most qualified and informed team in Haiti to deliver these, and are doing so on behalf of our Haiti Rotary Team. They know where the camps are, and what the needs are in each camp, so we feel they are the best distribution system we can use.

(3) Meeting with the Prime Minister

The meeting with the Prime Minister went very well. There were a number of issues we needed to discuss with him, and we also needed to hear from him - what he saw as priorities, and issues as they pertained to the future of Haiti. Both these objectives were met.

I will not cover all the points, but summarize the most important ones.

-- We wanted to better understand the planning process for the medium- and long- term recovery efforts for the Country and the priorities that the Government of Haiti saw.

-- There has been a Post-Disaster National Assessment Committee (PDNA) put together to formalize a plan scheduled for local review in mid-March and for presentation to the United Nations at the end of March.

-- As of our meeting, the Prime Minister agreed to give Rotary a seat on that Committee and we will be involved in the development and production of the plan
as a result.

-- Barry Rassin will assist us with Rotary International's presence at the UN presentation to be sure we stay connected with the process at that level as well.

This is probably the single most important advancement we have made in identifying our role as we move forward. We are going to be a part of the planning process from the beginning, and as such, will be knowledgeable of all the elements and understand the full scope of the recovery initiative. This, coupled with the Rotary Clubs in Haiti being in the communities, will give us a very clear understanding of our role in whatever sustainable initiative we decide to undertake.

-- We discussed the issue of Customs, and the challenges we have faced, and possibly may face, as we continue our medium-term relief efforts.

-- We are assured that we can get a letter that would make clear our customs
privilege, and any other issue that may develop at any port of entry we chose to use. This was a great and necessary assurance.

-- We discussed the status of our NGO (ROTAH) Regroupement Oeuvrant a Travers des Actions Humanitaires en Haiti. We have been given assurance that this would be approved very expeditiously and we would have temporary approval by next week.

-- We discussed the issue of trying to get supplies to La Gonaives and the challenges therein. I had recommended that we have approval to ship directly by sea to La Gonaives. The Prime Minister said he would look into the possibility of that as a regular port of entry, but assured us that we could, under special request, do so. This will help the Island Community a lot.

-- We also discussed the overall response to the Disaster and the future of Haiti. There are many VERY difficult decisions to be made and actions to be taken.

-- At the forefront of all of them is the understanding by all involved that this may well be the only time that an effective calculated plan for a sustainable recovery may be possible, and we must do it right.

The pressure to do it soon is also critical as the patience of the population is already being tested. They need to see and hear the plan and then immediately initiatives that indicate that it is a reality and not rhetoric.

-- We discussed the need for a quick switch in our recovery efforts from relief to sustainable initiatives.

Don’t continue to send drinking water when the local water production plant can produce the water. Support the local production plant by buying water from them to distribute.

Don’t send rice that can be produced in the Artibonite region. Help them get back into full production, and then help by buying some of it for the needy.

-- In the very short term, food, shelter for individuals and for schools, School, scholarships, water and specific medical supplies are still the priority, but this should only be for the short period unless there is a very specific need identified.

I hope this update helps. On these trips, Captain Paul has taken photographs for us. He is downloading the latest one for me on a drive today, and Barry will take this and put a Photo presentation together for us all.

I am going back to Port au Prince Tuesday. Rotary International President John Kenny will be there and is wanting to discuss the relief efforts to date in Haiti and to meet with a number of NGOs. He is coming in from the DR as he is actually visiting that District. I think it's important he is informed of our efforts and understands the direction we are taking.

A quick Thank You to Captain Paul Aranah for supporting us through all this and arranging flights and sponsorships.

Thanks to again Barry for his unwavering support for anything this district does and for being there when we need him EVERY time.

Thanks to Claude for his exceptional Leadership and support during what must be the most challenging period of his life.

Thanks to all our Rotarians in Haiti who make our efforts so rewarding, and thanks to all of you for your continued interest and support.

January 31, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Relief update January 31, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Dear all,

Sorry about the delayed update, but we are working on a number of issues and none of them seem easy right now.

As you know, we are re-evaluating the situation with an emphasis on our Haitien Family of Rotary and where we need to go from here. We obviously have many of the supplies and assistance that was originally called for still coming in, and are processing it through onto the ground daily.

The status reports by region, and for our Quake Zone clubs, should be in by later tomorrow so a clearer update will be posted then.

We have Dr. Greg Hoeksema, a fellow Rotarian from Cayman, on the ground doing a medical evaluation of supplies and equipment. He is done in the Pignon area and is going to Cap Haitien tomorrow and onto Port de Paix Tuesday evening.

President Shaun Ingraham, and Tyson from the Eluthera Rotary Club are on the ground, and on their way into Port au Prince tomorrow morning with the Director of Habitat for Humanity. He is going to be texting out information to us, so that should help with our insight. I just spoke to him, and he will be providing me with his sense of the situation later on today.

The entire education system in the country has been shut down - not one child anywhere going to school. There is slow movement now to begin to reopen Missionary and Private Schools, although the Education Ministry has not officially permitted that yet, and they have no clear strategy to do so.

The transient population with children, arriving in their respective new communities, may well never get back to school unless we do something.

I have a call out for BIG Tents, Circus or MASH type tents. There were in excess of 300 schools destroyed in the PaP area alone, so this challenge is a big one. The children, orphaned or not, need a place to get together and play and socialize at the very least soon, so keep that in mind as you search for the tents.

Food and Shelter are still a core need. For food, be sure it's more in the way of beans, rice, protein supplements, baby formula etc. Tents, sleeping mats, blankets, clean clothing, etc.

We have our Florida Rotary Friends setting up ten 40ft containers throughout the State to collect food and shelter items.

Through the high-tech capability of our District, I was able to go live on REACH radio in the BVI yesterday thanks to Don. Good job, Don!

Transportation into, and on the ground, is a difficult and an ever-changing process. The last flight we sent in was met by a road block and an unruly crowd with sticks. The UN, police, and Dr. Guy put down the unrest, but it is getting more complicated and difficult there as you can imagine.

The people are getting more and more desperate as the population numbers in these rural communities increase and supplies dwindle. There are also Political factions now using the opportunity to try to build a constituency and some control by having the goods in their possession. More to come on this as I better understand it.

We had some issues with some of our supplies being taken yesterday by force by the French Army. It’s a clear sign that the coordination of all the relief in Haiti is and will continue to be a BIG challenge as we go forward.

On a good note, 40,000 lbs of supplies from the Sint Maarten/St. Marten area clubs got through to Rotary’s storage in PaP after a very complex transportation route, so we can get it done.

We are setting up a more permanent and defined response committee for the ongoing relief. Our first meeting is 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, and I will share the structure of it with you after the meeting.

January 25, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 25, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

The day before yesterday, we had a couple of flights come in from the US with medical supplies gathered by our South Florida Rotarians. The pick-up was coordinated by PDGs Larry Labadie and Phil Lustig. They came in on two planes owned by friends of ours from Kentucky.

Yesterday was a very rewarding day, as were able to reach those suffering on the ground directly again with 6 flights of medical supplies. There were 4 from the Bahamas and 2 from the DR with an aircraft provided by the BVI. There may have been a few others that came in, but I was in Pignon, Haiti, and missed all emails and phone calls.

Our DR Rotarians (Charles Adams) have been very generous in resupplying the flights from Port de Paix in the DR to save the return flight to the BVI for supplies.

We brought Dr. Kevin Tetsworth into Pignon with us yesterday. Kevin, who hails from Australia, is an Orthopedic Surgeon who has volunteered to help out while on vacation. Unfortunately he is desperately needed in Les Cayes, but Dr. Leger said to hold off until we get the Orthopedic supplies there necessary to do the surgeries.

There are currently 50 waiting at his hospital in Les Cayes. Pignon has some limited supplies left, so only the surgeries that they have the supplies for are being done.

I flew into Pignon on one of the flights yesterday with supplies and a number of Bahamian Rotarians. We were graciously met by Guy Theodore, Caleb Lucien, ADG Adele, President Evinel, and a contingent of local Rotarians. We went to Dr. Theodore’s house and held a meeting at which we discussed our relief efforts and their needs, and tried to understand clearly how best we could help them and what direction things would take going forward. This was very productive and helpful.

I am going in on Wednesday with RIDE John Smarge, PRID Barry Rassin, DGE Diana White, and PP Carla. We will meet with Haiti Disaster Chair Dr. Claude Surena, PAG Nessim, PAG Caleb, DGN Guy. We are going to try to get a consensus of the stages relief that will be required, and a clearer understanding of what role our fellow Haitien Rotarians want us to take. They will guide us on this.

After our meeting, we toured Dr. Guy's Hospital in Pignon. Most of the patients came from one of the affected areas. They had been brought there in the back of a truck bed by surviving family members or total strangers.

There was a young girl going in to have both her legs amputated. The Volunteer Doctor who met us told us that her mother had arrived with her after struggling for her own life. As I understood it, she had not eaten for days, and had lost her other 2 children and her husband.

Carla came with two duffle Bags of teddy bears, and she gave the first one to this child. We gave the Teddies to all the children in the hospital. Tragically there were some that did not even know they got one. The pain and suffering that those poor people suffer is something none of us will ever comprehend.

After that, we toured Caleb's Camp where he is housing some of the refugee children. They were cooking up dinner for 200 who were at the Hospital. The venue could well turn out to be a refugee Shelter site. I will keep you posted.

Our St. Croix shipment encountered mechanical problems, and these are being worked on. The shipmeng is now scheduled into PaP tomorrow morning.

My classmate, Phil Lustig, and Larry Labadie have consolidated another shipment and the flight is due in to them in Vero Beach tomorrow morning. If they can turn the flight around in time, they may make a run into Pignon with the supplies.

We have 8 doctors who arrived in Miami tonight. We are trying right now to coordinate getting them into the hospitals in Haiti. Worst case is that they come to Nassau tomorrow and go into Haiti Wednesday.

We have a couple of Dialysis machine offers that we are still coordinating. One is on the way to South Florida right now. I am waiting on Dr. Claude Surena’s advice as to where it needs to go.

Dr. Greg Hoeksema from Cayman is in town with us on his way to Haiti. He has spent the day with local Rotarians inventorying the medical supplies and sorting them so we can more easily send them out to the specific hospitals based on their exact needs.

I urgently still need an Autoclave and a Dermatome. The Autoclave is the tool sterilization piece of equipment, and the Dermatome is used to lift the skin for the skin grafting. Can anyone help with this?

We have a Telethon tonight in Nassau to raise some additional funds. I will let you know how we make out.

I know Jamaica was trying to get some goods into Haiti, but had been struggling with the Southern Command air restrictions, so I await the results of that. All disaster coordinators need to send me any new relevant info so that I can post it.

I’ll keep you posted. Thanks.
PDG Dick

January 22, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 22, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

I am late and not sure where to start today. Yesterday was enormously successful just like the last ones. It's just getting more difficult to remember and report on what all has happened because so much has happened.

Let me begin by again thanking Rotarians around the world for the incredible support and the trust they have imparted in the rest of the people who have supported us. A special thanks to our District and Zones 33 and 34. They are doing so much, and in most instances, it goes unreported because it just gets done.

I met with the Red Cross in the Bahamas yesterday, and we are trying to coordinate the shipping of their donated "stuff" with ours. Our warehouse is now full of folding beds, mattresses, blankets, cushions, food, clothing and the like. If we do not source a local vessel in the next day or so, we will trans-ship through the US.

We have a Haitien Rotarian who can handle the clearing and receiving of the goods and will distribute to where we want.

My classmate, Phil Lustig, and Larry Labadie have shipped great quantities of supplies to us through Missionary Flights International, and are working with us to coordinate the filling of volunteer flights that are coming down.

Yesterday, a friend of ours (Corky) from Normans Cay Exumas flew from his home in Kentucky with a friend in another plane to spend a week airlifting for us. They were filled with medical supplies in Vero Beach, and will offload in Pignon tomorrow.

There are 35 Orthopedic surgeons on standby to come from Kansas. We are trying to coordinate that around the need, the supplies, and the transportation. At this point the pressure on the surgical team has stopped growing, but still is beyond the capacity we have down there.

I was very excited to here from my good friend, Nessim, yesterday. There is limited fuel now, and he can get around and run his generator to send emails, etc., sparingly. He is still sleeping in his car, so my compassion goes out to Nessim, Marine, and his son.

The Shelter Boxes got delivered to Carrefour and Leogane yesterday. Things are starting to move with our on-the-ground Rotarians as they get settled into the situation. God Bless them!

We delivered an X-Ray machine in Port de Paix yesterday, and 2 doctors to Pignon. They are being transported into PaP to Claude’s house today by Caleb.

We have a big shipment donated to the Albert Switzer Hospital which we are coordinating the delivery of into Nassau, and then by ground to HAS. Not sure of the exact arrival time but keep you all posted.

We have a couple of Dialysis machine offers that we are coordinating. I am waiting n Dr. Claude Surena’s advice as to where they need to go.

We have a doctor inbound from Cayman on Sunday to help. He will come through Nassau late Sunday night.

I urgently need an Autoclave and a Dermatome. The Autoclave is the tool- sterilization piece of equipment, and the Dermatome is used to lift the skin for the skin grafting. Can anyone help with this?

As the relief machine continues to move in country, we are beginning to be more focused on our Rotary Communities as we develop a longer-term strategy. I posted some thoughts for you which Michael Terrelonge will post to the blog. I look forward to your comments on the blog.

Going forward, I will begin to report every couple of days or as developments require.

PDG Dick

January 21, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 21, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

We had two flights today from Nassau into Haiti today. We had the Odyssey Caravan loaded with 3000lbs of medical supplies for Pignon, and another flight sponsored by Van Meurs Corporation and taking in some high end medical supplies with the Red Cross. Unfortunately, when the Caravan arrived,the Pignon grass strip was fogged in, so Captain Paul Aranha went back to Cap Haitien.

Caleb called his brother, who met the flight there, and secured the supplies, while the Pignon Hospital truck drove to Cap Haitien and collected everything. It went very well, and the supplies were at work with the sick and wounded last night when I spoke to DGN Dr. Guy.

The second flight arrived later and went directly to Pignon. They were received by the ground team, given a tour of the hospital, dropped the supplies and left. I hope to hear from them this morning.

It was a very difficult day on the communication side yesterday. I did not get through to Claude Surena at all, and neither did any of the ground team. So we are still struggling with the communication in a big way.

I did hear from Assistant Governor, Ted Lazzare. He had moved out of his car, and into a Shelter Box and felt that he could venture further, now that his wife and daughter were properly sheltered. We were also able to give him some cash so he can get some supplies and gas. He will be trying to locate some of the Carrefour members and assist with their plight.

I will be meeting with the Red Cross today in Nassau. They have received enormous amounts of “stuff” for Haiti. Much of it is still outside their building and they are sorting. If there are critical supplies there, we will take them and get them on the ground in Haiti in the next short while. The rest of the stuff can go with our Sea shipment which is being planned now.

We are trying to secure containers in Nassau and Freeport which can go down. A number of Rotarians are trying to secure a barge that we can ship on. I have contacted a fellow Rotarian from the Petion-Ville club in Haiti, and he will provide the trucking for the goods.

We can container-ship to cap Haitien and truck down or Ro-Ro barge to St. Marc or Gonaives, so the plan is coming together. This shipment will be things like food, water, beds, blankets, heavy supplies and clothing as a filler.

The surgical tent in the Hospital yard in Les Cayes is imminent. I should have final times on that later today.

Because of the difficult communication yesterday, I do not know the status of the St. Croix barge in St. Marc full of 1200 cases of water and additional supplies. I will try to get that for you today.

The Tortola X-Ray machine and supplies are in the air, and will be in Port de Paix by noon today. Yves will meet the flight. There are two Doctors on board that flight who are being dropped in Pignon and will go to Claude Surena’s house/clinic when they arrive.

The Dialysis machines are still needed.

We have 100 water boxes couriered to Miami, and in the queue, and destined for Haiti consigned to our team down there. I will try to find out how we can move them through quickly today.

I’ll keep you posted.
PDG Dick

January 20, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 20, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Today (Actually yesterday) I had some challenges! Today was to be a lay day in the air as we had the Haiti ground team transporting supplies into PaP, thanks to Caleb and the Hosean Ministries' large Bus and someone’s truck. This got done, and all the Medical Supplies were delivered to Claude Surena in PaP.

Additionally a Shelter Box and supplies were also delivered to ADG Ted Lazarre who has been living in his car. Thanks Caleb for thatpersonal rescue mission!

We had two flights today from Nassau into Les Cayes, Haiti. Unfortunately, we had a mix-up with our flight partners and some of the stuff that went there was supposed to go to Pignon and Verrette. But we dropped it nevertheless and will make up the balances to get Pignon and Verrette sorted out in the next day or two as we acquire what is needed and or requested by them.

Les Cayes is in good shape with the exception of a few specific items which we are working on as well.

We have a team out of Florida, and another out of North Carolina, that are prepared to set up a surgical tent in the Hospital yard in Les Cayes. That is being organized today, and I should have an update on it in the next day or so.

St. Croix has a barge which is landing today,if all is as planned, in St. Marc full of 1200 cases of water and additional supplies bound for PaP. Tortola has also located an X-Ray machine and supplies, and they are on the way and should be in Port de Paix Friday.

We still need additional X-Ray machines. PDG Richard has located some from St. Croix connection, and we will organize them today. The Dialysis machines are also still needed.

Our Immediate Past Assistant Governor, Eves Martial, advised me that the team into Port de Paix was making great progress with the surgeries, and they are going to be needing some supplies soon. That’s on the top of the list for today.

Dr. Batsch from the Pignon hospital sent some pictures and some X-Rays to show the work they are doing as well, and as soon as I can I will get them posted to the site.

St. Croix has sent 1200 cases of water and additional supplies by Barge and are intended to land in St. Marc and be transhipped into PaP. I am following that and will advise how that goes.

I probably missed something but will add it to tonight’s info.

I’ll keep you posted.
PDG Dick

January 19, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 19, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

We had two flights today from Nassau and one from Tortola into Haiti. The flight from Tortola had Dr. Klas Buring and Dr. Belkys Rhymer on board, along with the orthopaedic tools and supplies necessary for the surgeries that were waiting.

Our Immediate Past Assistant Governor, Eves Martial, received them.

Thank you to the BVI team. On a side note, the three Rotary Clubs of the BVI and their Family of Rotary had a fund-raiser the day before yesterday, raised $180,000 and have pledged to get to $200,000. It’s a small Island but what a huge heart!!!!! Thank You!

Of the 2 flights from Nassau today, one went on to Pignon, and landed on the grass strip there. It is only 25 miles further south, but saves 3 or 4 hours of delivery and transport on the ground. Pignon is the home of Caleb Lucien’s Hosean Ministries and DGN Guy Theodore’s Hospital. In the Rotary fashion, Caleb was in Cap Haitien
clearing the flights in, and his wife, Debbie, received the flight in Pignon. Thanks Debbie!

Tomorrow, we are taking a lay day in the air. Caleb has loaded up one of his big school buses and a truck and is making a run into PaP. The supplies will be sent to Rotarian Dr. Claude Surena in PaP to allocate where needed.

We will resume flights in again tomorrow.

We have been receiving very specific Medical supply lists that we are continuing to fill. We have sent approximately 50,000 lbs of medical supplies so far, and most of them donated. We used some of the relief funds raised to purchase the exact supplies needed, and have them ready to be loaded tonight.

PRID Barry has a full-size Gym at the Western Medical Clinic in Nassau. We have received enough to fill it and it sits about one-third filled today for those trying to imagine the quantity we have moved.

As I mentioned, we have spoken to our Rotarians in Jamaica, and we are now in the process of shipping the big and heavy stuff from the US through Jamaica via Air Jamaica and onto PaP. We have huge generators, water makers, water, etc., going that way.

Nathan is trying to organize for the Southern Command to meet with us to plan the ground distribution to remote sites in Haiti. That will probably work hand-in-hand with the Shelter Box Camps. More to follow on that if it happens.

We will use some of their big helicopters to do lifts out of PaP, and drop in sites designated and distributed by Rotarians as mentioned earlier.

St. Croix has sent 1200 cases of water and additional supplies by Barge, and are intended to land in St. Marc and transhipped into PaP. I am following that and will advise how that goes.

We have 2 inbound flights from the States that are picking up medical supplies in Vero Beach and then on into Nassau and onto Haiti. They are staying with us for a week to do additional runs. I thinks we have approximately 15 planes at our service in total right now.

Rotary Rocks! And, Rotary Flies too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are trying to organize the barge, and should that have completed in the next day or so. That will be a run for the heavy stuff. We are cleared into Cap Haitien and should have the ground transportationavailable to get it to PaP.

We are going to need to take fuel to provide for our truckers as that commodity is very low right now. Our club in Carrefour is desperate for some. Unfortunately, we cannot fly it so we are trying to get some to them from within Haiti.

The way forward is beginning to be more strategic as we are able to find out more information on what is happening on the ground, and as the international relief becomes more organized. We have been very effective in providing support where the “big guys” have not yet been able to get to yet, which has avoided wastage and
duplication of effort.

I plan to go down with a small team in the next short while to assess where we are with the ground team in Haiti, but will only do so when they feel that it is appropriate and will not impede what they are doing.

I have been told that the quake that hit Cayman did not do much damage. Thankfully that is the case.

Keep up the great work with the fund raising and supplies collection through you local relief efforts throughout the district. This will be a very long process, and every effort that you have made will eventually be put to use on the ground there when appropriate.

Please let me know what you have done, and if there is any way I can
facilitate getting it on the ground for you.

Thank you for the support. I’ll keep you posted.

PEG Dick

January 18, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 18, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Another brief update.

We got 7 flights off the ground and in the air for Haiti today. Of those flights, 6 will go into Haiti directly. The 7th, the Caravan, will do a second run from Inagua.

We dropped in Cap Haitien, Les Cayes and Jeremie. The Methodist group were able to get 20 plus of their missionaries out on these flights.

One flight from the BVI arrived Cap Haitien around noon full of Medical supplies. They return tomorrow with one Orthopaedic Surgeon and his tools and medical supplies and one EMT. The will be clearing, and going through to Port de Paix. Our Immediate Past Assistant Governor Eves Martial will be receiving him.

Tomorrow we are looking at 3 flights into Cap Haitien. We are going to do a trial run into Pignon tomorrow to see how it works. It is closer to Port au Prince and will eliminate the ground transportation cost for that distance south. The supplies will be sent on to Claude in PaP.

We have 2 very specific Medical supply lists that we are filling now for Port au Prince and Les Cayes and will have them ready to fly Wednesday morning. The balance of our donated medical supplies will be gone, and we will begin to send the blankets and food as the main items.

We do send in water, but at $0.50 a lb it follows Meds and food on the priority chain.

We have spoken to our Rotarians in Jamaica, and we are making preparations to ship the big and heavy stuff from the US through Jamaica via Air Jamaica and onto PaP. PRID Barry is working the details out on this with Dennis Chong.

Nathan is trying to get the Southern Command to agree to use some of their big helicopters to do a few lifts out of PaP and drop in sites designated and distributed by Rotarians. Details to follow.

Our Team is doing well in Haiti, given the situation. Pray for them as they work almost around the clock. Special blessing to PAG Caleb Lucien for his extraordinary efforts as the point person in Haiti for all these supplies.

January 17, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 17, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Today’s update will be brief.

We got 11 flights off the ground and in the air for Haiti today. Of those flights, 10 will go into Haiti and one will go to Inagua. The flight time from Inagua is less than an hour and much easier for the small planes, so we are stockpiling there.

One flight has left from the BVI, and is going through Puerto Plata in the DR and on to Cap Haitien tomorrow. We are hoping that, after clearing in Cap, it can fly on to Pignon. We will know this later.

We have 3 pallets of Medical Supplies in Vero Beach, and are working on the flights to get that to Nassau and on to Haiti with our Bahamas Methodist Habitat partners.

T&C has organized some more Shelter Boxes, and they will be sent shortly. Nathan has a container on the way to Miami, and we will know more about the delivery method soon.

We have asked for an indication from the on-the-ground medical team for specific medical Supplies needs, and I will post for you as soon as I get it.

I believe Michael Terrelonge will be starting a blog for us. Look for his announcement.

January 16, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 16, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

A great day! I am wrong, an EXTRAORDINARY day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were able to communicate by phone with a couple of our Team in Haiti today, but our Satellite phones did not work. It did not matter. We knew what we had to do.

Claude Surena, who has been one of our Primary Contacts in the Haiti disasters, has been designated as the National Coordinator of the Health Commission they are putting in place. That is a huge responsibility that he accepted at the insistence of the President Preval. Congratulations are due to him!

Our priorities Remain:

-- Money
-- Medical Supplies
-- Blankets, clothes, and Shelter
-- Food
-- Water

The Bahamas Clubs today collected in excess of 50,000 lbs of medical supplies, blankets and food. We sent out 5 twin engine flights to Cap Haitien, of which 2 were scheduled to go on to Les Cayes. They were turned back to Cap due to rain.

Tomorrow, we have 10 twin engine flights and one DC-3 leaving loaded with medical Supplies to be dropped in Cap Haitien and Les Cayes.

We are working closely with the Methodist Ministries, and they are bringing back
departing missionaries on the return flights. We have another 6 flights scheduled Monday.

The Jamaica Clubs, together with their military connections, are flying in supplies and returning with Jamaican nationals. Their proximity, and the availability of these resources, make them extremely effective. They are coordinating the flights with inbound supplies and staffing with Claude Surena as well. Thanks Claude!

Many of the regions have raised large sums of money. As I said yesterday, I have not had a chance to confirm these amounts, but hope to do so for you soon.

I hope that the note below clarifies the need and importance of the fundraising by all of you across the District. These fund raising initiatives are VERY important. While everyone wants to get or collect something to send, it becomes painfully clear very quickly that the challenge to get the stuff to where it needs to go on the ground is impossible.

The benefit to the most needy diminishes by the day. Many Rotarians can beg the supplies necessary but many more must do what they do in the fund-raising department because that’s what gets the job done.

We will probably sent $150,000 to $200,000 worth of goods down to Haiti in the next 2 days, but it will cost us close to $50,000 to do so. The $50,000 will get the goodwill on the ground where the needy will actually benefit, and they will do so while the need is still there. Without it, we would have $200,000 sitting in a
warehouse. A point to remember!

Goods in a warehouse while they rebuild the port or arrange for shipping after commercial shipping opens will be too late for anybody.

Our container of medical supplies in Atlanta, that was going to be transferred to a DC-3 tomorrow, has hit a snag and further details will follow. Our 3 Beechcraft from North Carolina are ready to go and we will coordinate that tomorrow.

January 15, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 15, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

A great day!

PDG Amos and family are safe! Ted Lazarre has been found and is ok!

A very productive day as well! Supplies and money came in in great quantities from everywhere. Our District, as always, did the extraordinary.

-- One club raised over $39,000 at their meeting
-- Another one matched it!!!!!!

Supplies and funds in every region under the regional coordinators are coming in quickly and in great quantities. Great work clubs and Rotarians!

I am sorry that I cannot give you exact figures, but the funds are going to a number of regional accounts. I am not sure of everything and would not want to mislead you.

On the lighter side, we had one flight leave from Nassau to Haiti with medical supplies, a Doctor Ageebe, and a Nurse Fountain. Not everything went as planned, but we made progress. The plane got there with the supplies which were picked up, but we lost the Doctor and Nurse. OOPS!

We finally found them, but the old challenge of communication was interesting. I got a mixed message that they had been dropped in Port de Paix. I could picture them standing on a vacant dark lonely runway looking for someone they may be comfortable staying with until they were found. But,in fact, they had been left in Cap Haitien at a hotel whose name they did not know, and no phone contact for.

The good news is that, in texting them on their Bahamian cell, we were able to ascertain where they were, and it was the same hotel we had stayed at when we visited the Cap Haitien club. So we were able to use the satellite phone and communicate with Rotarians on the ground in Haiti. By tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., they will be on their way to Pignon to help the wounded at Dr. Guy Theodore’s Hospital.

The challenges remain that the Port is closed, the airport in PaP is over-taxed and on occasion has to turn flights away. The communication systems are restrictive. We are working around those.

We are working with D-4060 (Charles Adams) on a plan to ship by sea to the DR and tranship over land from the DR to Haiti. We need to overcome the availability of trucks, the border, and the inland challenges, but with their help I am sure we can.

In speaking to Shelter Boxes, they expect to have 2900 on the ground over the next few weeks. There are 900 there now, and 1000 are on the way, with the balance to follow.

We have a container of medical supplies in Atlanta that is going to be transferred to a DC-3 tomorrow and will be enroute to Haiti by Sunday. A number of relief flights from other countries have gone in as well.

Our Jamaican Rotarians, in concert with the Jamaican Government and Coast Guard, have sent in an army of supplies and people, and are continuing to build their relief efforts.

We have 4 flights (Twin engine) leaving Nassau tomorrow for Haiti, followed by a DC-3 on Sunday. The 3 Beechcraft from North Carolina to Haiti are due early next week, and we will have 4 planes on the ground in Nassau for the remaining 2 weeks available to us, and all we need to cover are the fuel costs.

The DAF is set up, and we have full exposure on the international Web Sites.

Tomorrow is another day! Successes to follow!!!!

PDG Dick

January 14, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 14, 2010 (4:30 p.m.)
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

This has been a very fulfilling, yet frustrating, day.

On the fulfilling side, we have had overwhelming support from everywhere and everyone again. Thank you so very much for all your efforts!

The District has asked the Assistant Governors to coordinate a local relief strategy for their regional areas. Through this initiative we hope to coordinate the appeal for support, coordinate/consolidate shipments, and promote contribution to our relief funds.

We have been able to have communicate occasionally with PADG Caleb Lucien by Satellite phone, but this has been extremely difficult. The needs remain the same, with specific emphasis on medical supplies and blankets for right now.

We are coordinating with Missionary Flights International to get some "stuff" flown in, and have arranged a few flights from Nassau. We have been able to get Volunteer Doctors and Medical supplies committed from a number of our regions, along with the flights to get them there as well.

We have the Rotarians from District 7710 who have 3 Beechcraft on the ground in North Carolina ready to come down full of supplies. We have a 40 FT container in Athens, Georgia, ready to move with $200,000 worth of medical supplies and on and on...

The challenge now is that the airport in PaP is restricting air traffic, and some of today’s flights were returned. Things are backing up and the PaP Port is closed.

We have arranged for approval to fly into alternate sites and to truck the supplies to PaP. This alternative is being studied, and will be an option we consider for our shipments.

We have received approval from the Prime Minister's office to bring in any relief supplies we wish. However, this approval does not guarantee access to the airport and port, so it is more of a comfort than a fact.

We have Shelter Boxes, Water Purification Boxes, relief supply flights, money and everything else coming in. We now need to position our on-the-ground team to coordinate it. With the communication, that will be difficult, but we can get it done.

Sadly, we have not been able to reconnect with ADG Ted Lazarre and have not yet heard from Amos and we remain prayerful they are OK.

Not much more to say today without listing the names of the 100’s of Rotarians throughout our District and others who have done extraordinary things to get us the support we need, but I believe it would be better just to say a heartfelt THANK YOU from Haiti and all of those you are helping.

God Bless You!

I’ll be in touch with further update tomorrow.

PDG Dick
Haiti Update

January 13, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Disaster Response Summary January 13, forward
...prepared and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

Specific actions taken

-- Communicated immediately with on the ground team. I was able to speak to Claude Surena to get a brief scope of damage and to talk briefly about expected response priorities. We have responded before to a disaster during the Hurricanes and flooding, so the basic response parameters, coupled with the knowledge of the Disaster Zone helped a lot.

-- Contacted District leadership and gave them a brief synopsis of the disaster and the intended responses. At that time, outlined the priorities as they were understood at the time.

-- Requested support from District to set up a process to manage the funds

-- Requested support from Zone Classmates

-- PRID Barry moved to set up DAF and communicated the status of the situation to Global Rotarians and Agencies

Specific Challenges faced

-- Lost total communication 40 minutes after first quake with the entire country

-- Most of our core leaders were victims of the disaster

-- Organizational control was moving between US/UN and Country Leadership, so on-the-ground priorities varied

-- Air space was restricted and the main Port was closed

-- The geography and infrastructure of Port au Prince is very restrictive and archaic at best

-- The catastrophic damage is beyond anything that anyone could have ever imagined

-- People all over the planet feel they are the experts, and are telling people what they should do. At times, these pronouncements conflict with the specific instructions given by the people and by the Rotarians on the ground in the Disaster area

Systems and processes in place

-- Satellite phone system from Caribbean Partners

-- Rotary Organization infrastructure (District and country-wide)

-- Passion and commitment to our fellow Rotarians in Haiti

-- Appointed Leader or find someone who can’t get out of it!!!!

Failed Plans

-- Satellite phone use Protocols

-- Satellite phone number list

-- Satellite service provider quality (some phones get no signal)

-- Random inaccurate email circulation by many “ROTARY” organizations

Lessons learned

-- Have funding accounts in place and published on web site

-- Value of relationships with individuals in each country is immeasurable

-- Money first! We can always get "stuff" but we need to pay to get it there

-- In the Bahamas, we used Windermere Day Spas’s contact list to plead for supplies.

These customers sent the plea to their mailing list and so on and so on... This proved to be enormously successful and has resulted in funds and over 50,000 lbs of supplies -- Medical, Comfort and Food.

Why Rotary works when other initiatives you see on Television appear not to work

Rotary International has an established Region, Country, District and International infrastructure that exists year over year.

-- We know who we all are, and what we all do.
-- We have a team locally and internationally that understands the power of our organization and what we are
capable of.
-- We have a team locally and internationally that knows there is an expectation that we do something after these events.
-- We expect the support, and we get it. But we understand it comes with a burden of responsibility.
-- Our on-the-ground team is relying on the Rotary Infrastructure to help them by sending supplies and funding, and know they have to do their part to get it effectively into their communities.
-- Our on-the-ground team coach us with the advice of a real-time community needs assessment.
-- The on-the-ground team wants to be sure that the distribution of assets meets all their personal values which reflect our criteria - Fair, Beneficial to all, etc., because they are Rotarians!

They do the work in their communities to make their own communities better and to help their neighbours and families.

The summary so far is as follows:

Haiti Update January 13, 2010

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

This is the most tragic situation that you can imagine. The support from Rotary and the world has really stepped up to help and thank you for it.

Here is a brief summary of where we are after 24 hours:

-- We have communicated by Satellite Phone or Satellite e-mail to most of our Haiti Task Force Team.
-- The situation is so grave they are not yet in a position to move or check on others.
-- Currently we know that ADG Ted Lazarre lost his house and his business, and he and his wife and child are on the street in front of the Palace with nowhere to go.

I received this message from him via his satellite phone, and it went dead almost
immediately during the conversation. We are trying to coordinate some assistance as soon as we can contact anyone that is in a position to help.

-- We have not heard from PDG Amos and are still working on it.
-- All other Task Force Leaders are accounted for, although we have not communicated with all of them.

At this point our priorities are as follows:

-- In order of priority, we are asking for money first, and will have a Foundation DAF account available tomorrow
-- We will also have a District Account with detailed information available by tomorrow.
-- I have also spoken to Rotary in the Dominican Republic(DR), and there is a possibility that we can buy goods and services in the DR and truck them to
Port au Prince (PaP).
-- Secondly, we are working on getting shelter - Shelter Boxes, of which we have approximately 500 organized to start.
-- We are also looking at the possibilities of “Mash" type tents for temporary housing and medical shelters.
-- We desperately need medicine and food. A number of containers have been organized throughout the District and in America, and we are in discussions organizing the shipping of those containers through a number of international shipping companies (Tropical Seaboard) that are working with us.
-- We need clean water and have 100 Water Boxes on their way from England.
-- Additional water purification and supply will be necessary as we go forward.

Our Haiti Task Force ROTAH N.G.O. has funded immediate relief for the few that it can reach.

-- We need another day or two to effectively decimate the situation and to have our Rotarians to tell us what they feel they want us to do.
-- Rotarian Claude Surena, our Haiti Disaster Chair, is our primary contact on this and is working very closely with the Government of Haiti and the Red Cross on our behalf. God Bless him.

By 7:00 p.m.last night, Rotarian Dr. Claude had over 100 injured people in his yard and was out of food, blankets and space.

I appreciate your patience and concern. Please pray for Haiti and give something in support. Your fellow Haitien Rotarians will get it to where it will serve best.

Thank You!

PDG Dick

Our Priorities are

-- We need money first. Send to address below:

-- Shelter
-- Medical and Food supplies
-- Water purification items like Water Survival Boxes
-- Clothing

Let me know what you are doing with District or Club number for our records.

PDG Dick McCombe,
Haiti Liaison District 7020

US$ Payment by Wire Transfer:

Donors should be asked to kindly send e-mail advice of transfer to PDG Richard W. Harris at and (State name and email address of any other D7020 intended recipient)

Send to: Wachovia Bank, New York
ABA Code: 026005092
For credit to: FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited
Account Number: 2000192002655
For further credit to: Rotary International District 7020
Account Number 3481106
Reference “Haiti Earthquake Relief”

US$ Payment by Bank Draft or Cheque (Check):
Mailed payment must be an official Bank Draft drawn on a US clearing bank or a cheque drawn on a US domestic bank.

(US$ denominated cheques drawn on a bank outside of the continental USA are discouraged as they may be difficult to negotiate)

Mail to:
PDG Richard W. Harris
Rotary International District 7020
P.O. Box 557
Grand Cayman KY1-1502
Haiti Update