From hurricanes to earthquakes to typhoons and all the other disasters in between, natural disasters wreak devastating havoc on vulnerable communities around the world.
Not only do they cause immediate jeapordy to lives - but they often cause significant damage to existing local infrastructure, setting back the economy, causing food shortages, contaminating water sources, and leaving already vulnerable people easy prey to traffickers.
That's why we not only respond to disasters when they happen, but we work to lay systems in place that minimize the damage in areas where disasters are common and to continue to work on long-term recovery within effected communities.
Will you help support our efforts?
*World Hope International is committed to sound stewardship and using your gift to deliver the most effective, sustainable solutions for alleviating poverty, suffering, and injustice. In 2017, 92% of funds contributed were used for program expenses. In order to use our resources in the most efficient manner possible, we may deem it necessary to redirect your contribution to the greatest need or our general purposes.
World Hope is now working to rebuild Pastor Raymond's church, home, and community. Read the full story here: https://worldhope.org/rebuilding-in-the-bahamas-starting-with-the-church/
We are now returning to rebuild two Wesleyan Churches around Freeport, Grand Bahama, as well as homes in the surrounding communities. Not only will we be helping restore homes in some of the most underserved communities on the island, but we will be doing so in a manner that helps spread healing into those communities’ lives. Stay tuned for more!
WHI President, John Lyon, along with his dad, took a 16-ft truck filled with more emergency relief supplies down to Florida this week to preposition them for further disasters in the Caribbean. He is now off to The Bahama to check in on our clean water and power stations there as we continue to support the ongoing, vital relief and rebuilding work.
Update from the ground: there are many people coming to our water site at the primary school in Marsh Harbour. We have now been distributing both drinking and wash water since the beginning of September. Many women and children have not returned yet, but pickup trucks come with their beds full of 5 gallon jugs to be filled up--arriving especially in the early evening when the men get off work.
Thank you for your continued support! We are still on the ground and will be there well into the future, working with our partners to help Bahamians recover and build back better. Stay tuned for more information and news soon!
Some members of our Marsh Harbour-based water team traveled out to Treasure Cay today to see and check in on our team there. As other relief organizations have arrived and set up in that community now, we are preparing to move outwards again to another community where clean water relief has yet to arrive. The teams went out to scout possible new water station locations and we will keep you posted on where they move!
UPDATE from the ground! We've unloaded some of the emergency relief supplies we shipped earlier this week! Because of the terrible shortage of fuel in the affected Bahamas, we shipped in $25,000 worth of fuel and are setting up fuel depots around the islands. This afternoon in Sandy Point, we were able to fill one of World Central Kitchen's trucks up with much needed gasoline so they can go deliver meals.
Update from Marsh Harbour: People who were evacuated are starting to come back to the island now. We just had 12 cars (which there are not many of on the island overall due to destruction from the hurricane) arrive and load up with drinking and bathing water. It wiped out our drinking water supply, so our team is now hard at work producing more. During the scorching heat at the middle of the day, we have fewer people show up as they are taking shelter from the sun, giving our team the opportunity to build back up our clean water supply. The full sun is great for the solar-powered Katadyn aquifers!
Update from our volunteer, Jen, in Marsh Harbour: "When working vehicles are so sparse due to hurricane damage, you use whatever it takes to get clean water. Today that was a tractor. The temps today were in the high 90’s... and we could rarely find shade. It was rough, but we made lots of water, patched the roof, cleared out three rooms in the school and a bathroom. I gagged a few times from the awful smells and what I saw, but overall it was a good day. At one point, an aid worker brought us cold La Croix, then another brought us apples... and then the Royal Bahama Defense delivered a cooler of ice. It was like Christmas again and again! They are all so appreciate to have clean water because of the work we do. I also think everyone feels sorry for us with our tents and no shade... we are by far the most rugged aid workers out here. Yet I love it and love being here with World Hope International."
In addition to the volunteers we have deployed and thanks to incredible partnerships and donations, we are pleased to be shipping $250,000 worth of vital, emergency supplies into the Bahamas this week.
We've gotten word from our team in Treasure Cay, who arrived safe and sound there a couple days ago now and have been steadily using our Katadyn aquifers to make clean, drinkable water. As our volunteer, James (pictured below) put it, "There are no words to describe the catastrophic ruin. Treasure Cay is devastated but WHI is providing life-saving clean water to this community."
The team has split up again and some of them are in Treasure Cay now, too. We moved out of Green Turtle Cay after other relief organizations arrived, and Treasure Cay was still in need of clean water. We hope to provide an update from them in the next few days, but we can confirm our team did arrive safe and sound there!
UPDATE from Marsh Harbour - our water station is back up and running - check out the solar array used to run the Katadyn aquifers throughout the day, producing gallon after gallon of clean drinking water!
Here is an introduction to a few WHI Wave 3 relief volunteers as they prepare to fly out this morning from St. Petersburg, Fl, to the Bahamas with our partner, Sol Relief! We've got some more volunteers from Katadyn Outdoors joining us, some Canadians coming all the way down to the warmer climes, and the woman behind the camera is our partner, Jen Hansard of Simple Green Smoothies, who in addition to joining our relief team, is also a strong supporter of our mushroom project in Cambodia. Stay tuned for more!
Everyone on the ground had to close up shop briefly while the tropical storm passed through, but now we are jumping back into action!
We have a new wave of volunteers heading in today! They are flying out now from St. Petersburg, FL!
The toilets at the school became so clogged that people were forced to begin defecating on open ground - which can have many dangerous health consequences. Not only are we now producing safe, clean water for them to drink from Smart Bottle Inc reusable bottles, but we're also providing treated water (which we store in the bright yellow GEI Works - Erosion and Pollution Control Products self-rising "onion tank" you see pictured here) that they can use to wash themselves and their clothes and to flush toilets. Water matters!
UPDATE from the ground! We've talked a lot about the clean water we are making for people to drink using our Katadyn Outdoors aquifers - but HurricaneDorian also created a sanitation crisis. The 206 survivors whose homes were utterly destroyed took refuge at Abaco Primary School in Marsh Harbour. They not only had no drinkable water before we established our water station there, but with no water at all, they also didn't have a way to even flush toilets.
After the Hurricane, 206 residents of Marsh Harbour took shelter at the Abaco Primary School, pictured below. This is where some of WHI's volunteer relief team set up a clean water station. They are providing clean water for all those sheltering and serving here, as well as providing for other members of the community who come to the school for the clean water.
UPDATE from the ground: Here's a sunset for you from where our wonderful volunteer #relief team has set up a water station and made camp in order to provide clean water for Green Turtle Cay following #HurricaneDorian. Our partners Airlink, Sol Relief, and YachtAid Global helped us get in and reach the community, which up until that point had no clean water aid. After spending the very first night sleeping right on the dock, our team moved to slightly more comfortable camping quarters, which you just glimpse in this clip. In the background you can also make out the dock where our Katadyn Outdoors aquifers are running 24/7--using solar power by day and generators by night--to make clean water straight from the ocean. The team then fill up Smart Bottle Inc bottles for those in the community to come and pick up. These bottles are reusable and can be brought back for refills. In only 3 days time, the team has already produced 1,000+ gallons of water. Thank you to our donors, our volunteers, and our partners for helping us help Bahamians right now!
Many Bahamians are hoping and waiting to evacuate the hard-hit Northern islands. Pictured below are many residents of Marsh Harbour who have been sitting and waiting for hours under the hot sun in hopes of transportation away. A lucky few are able to board this boat, but face an additional 8 hours without shelter from the sun as it carries them to Nassau. For many of them, the bags they are carry with them are all that was salvageable and what little else they do leave behind may or may not remain should they ever return home.
UPDATE - We have a new wave of volunteers flying in today to relieve our current team on the ground!
It is going to take a long time for the Bahamas to recover, but we are glad to have a tremendous team of volunteers and to be on the ground working with an incredible coalition of partners including Sol Relief and YachtAid Global and ensuring everyone has access to clean water, at the least. Thank you all for your ongoing contributions to our efforts!
Before Dorian devastated the North Bahamas, many communities and settlements were spread across cays and were only narrowly connected to parts of larger islands. With the surge from the storm and the massive wind and water destruction, most of these communities were cut off from the support of larger towns - many of which were also destroyed and in need of aid, too.
Marsh Harbour experienced the full force of #HurricaneDorian, and instead of bringing in loads of single-use plastic water bottles, which ultimately create a second crisis for post-disaster communities because of the plastic pollution, we use Katadyn Outdoors reverse osmosis water treatment systems --that can purify salt water into drinking water.
UPDATE from Marsh Harbor! Our Director of Water & Sanitation has our clean water making station set up and running now at Abaco Primary School.
Our partner, Sol Relief, delivered a load of more tarps, generators, and chainsaws donated by Lowes that we procured into Treasure Cay, as well as some hygiene kits from MAP International - check out the unloading in the video below!
Our relief team split up again and some of them travelled over to Green Turtle Island, where there was a dire need for clean water. They have set up a water making station there and are now providing clean water for the whole island.
Here is a video of unloading supplies we procured from Lowes for emergency relief that our partner, Sol Relief, flow into Freeport for us!
UPDATE from the ground - Freeport airport is open now and we just flew in some of the emergency equipment - including generators, tarps, and chainsaws - that we brought over to the #Bahamas from #Florida yesterday! More updates to come!
Our team was thrilled to run into another first responder down in the Bahamas - Chef José Andrés, whose organization (World Central Kitchen) is making food for survivors. He's making food, we're making drinkable water! And we are so glad to be able to execute on our Caribbean Disaster Relief Plan and be here in the Bahamas from the start, serving those whose lives have been utterly upended by this terrible disaster.
THANK YOU all for the donations you are making. Your gifts of cash allow us to cover the costs of responding rapidly - including fuel - AND ensure that we are bringing in what is truly needed on the ground based on damage assessments and real need.
We've got more volunteers flying into the Bahamas now along with what has amounted to 4 plane-loads of emergency supplies, including tarps, chainsaws, and generators!
When disasters like Hurricane Dorian strike, access to clean water becomes vital. We use Katadyn watermakers to turn undrinkable water into safe & clean water that can be used for drinking and sanitation purposes. It’s extremely important to consider the long-term #environmental impacts of aid, which is why we strive to be conscious of plastic pollution and additional environmental devastation. Planning ahead for disasters and prepositioning supplies makes it more possible to respond responsibly and rapidly.
Our Katadyn watermakers and other emergency supplies arrived! (video below)
UPDATE! Our boats left as planned this morning, with Motor Yacht Loon leading the way. The sea state is challenging but they are making their way with life saving supplies. The boats will be anchored by the end of the day delivering much needed supplies, pumping 9,000 gallons of fresh water starting today and each day into the foreseeable future!! We opened their satellite communications to the maximum bandwidth so we can share images and drone footage with NEMA, USCG and other entities for faster collaboration. Stay tuned!
What does it look like to load emergency supplies onto a boat in response to Hurricane Dorian? Like many hands make it possible. We are so glad to be working with Sol Relief and Yacht Aid Global to get our Katadyn Outdoors water makers, emergency relief supplies, and volunteer team around the Bahamas. Figuring out how to reach those in need has been a challenge that we have worked through and using boats is the best possible way of reaching the 62,000+ people whom CBS has reported are stranded without clean water or power. We are so grateful to be able to use Motor Yacht Loon, a 155ft Christensen and the flagship of this initial response effort. It is now fully loaded with our gear and team, and we also have a supporting cargo ship filled with even more emergency supplies. We will keep sharing updates here and on our webpage, where you can also make donations to help with the purchase of these life-saving supplies and the costs of getting them to those who are waiting for hope.
Devastating photos of #HurricaneDorian destruction during a low pass fly over of Abaco, Bahamas today. We are partnering with Sol Relief and Yacht Aid Global to deploy fresh water, supplies, and volunteers to the affected islands. Photo credit: Ports International
We got our team off to the Bahamas this morning to support relief efforts there! The team will rendezvous with a pair of yachts, where they will work with YachtAid Global & other partners to distribute aid and set up the water makers. We'll keep sharing updates!
We are sending 5 Katadyn watermakers to the Bahamas along with a team to set up the water stations. Things to know about them? - Combined, they can produce 1,800 gallons of clean water per day - They are energy efficient, typically using less than 110 watts to purify seawater - They can be operated by solar or wind power They also cost us about $20,000 each! Your donations make it possible for us to continue to provide these lifesaving systems.
We are responding to the need in the Bahamas and have deployed a team of volunteers to move our supplies from St. Petersburg out to the Bahamas. Stay tuned!
Looks like Hurricane Dorian has reached Category 5 and the Bahamas are going to need some water makers soon. The Washington Posts says "With peak winds of 175 mph, Hurricane Dorian is about as powerful as an Atlantic hurricane can get as the core of its strongest winds and most dangerous storm surge moves over the northwestern Bahamas. These winds are the strongest so far north in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida on record. Its pressure, down to 922 millibars, matches Hurricane Andrew’s when it made landfall in south Florida in 1992." https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/01/catastrophic-hurricane-dorian-unleashes-devastating-blow-northern-bahamas-takes-aim-southeast-us/
We've been on the phones with our partners to set up an emergency deployment of water-making systems for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian if it hits Florida as predicted.
We are keeping an eye on Hurricane Dorian and right now it looks like it is developing into a Category 4! That's why we are on the phones now connecting with our partners and making sure that we are ready to respond!