ShelterBox in Action
ShelterBox are immensely grateful for the generous donations of its supporters which allow it to respond to humanitarian disasters around the world.
Philippines - Typhoon
Typoon Mangkhut made landfall on 15 September; it is being compared to a Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane, which is the highest possible category. The high winds and torrential rains have caused widespread damage - 2.1 million people have been affected, 110,000 homes damaged and 10,000 completely destroyed; around 20,000 people are still in evacuation centres.. 2 ShelterBox Response Teams are in the country and in communication with their Rotary contacts and local partners; they have enough shelter aid stored in the Philippines to help around 2,000 families with additional aid in Malaysia which can be brought in if needed. The Philippines is ShelterBox’s most ‘deployed to’ country to date, with this being the 25th deployment since 2004. The last deployment was in May 2018, in response to flooding after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak when households received a mixture of Shelterkits and tents.
Heavy rainfall between 8 and 14 August caused flooding and landslides in Kerala state, in southwest India. According to the Government, this is the worst flooding and landslides on record since 1924. The monsoon season is expected to continue until the end of September, during which further adverse weather can be expected. 498 people have lost their lives and although people have started returning to their homes, nearly 540,000 people remain in relief camps. The immediate priorities for relief measures are health, hygiene, drinking water access and shelter. Over 50,000 homes have been damaged and 7,000 homes have been destroyed. ShelterBox have deployed teams to explore the feasibility of a response.
Indonesia - Multiple Earthquakes
On Sunday 29 July, the island of Lombok in Indonesia was violently struck by an earthquake followed a week later by an even more devastating quake and aftershocks. The disaster has left over 250 people dead, at least 270,000 men, women and children left homeless and urgently needing shelter. ShelterBox have so far distributed 585 ShelterBoxes including 14 tents to replace to replace maternity and post natal clinics destroyed by the earthquakes.
Guatamala - volcano
In June, Guatemala was left reeling after the most violent and devastating volcanic eruption for 44 years. The Fuego volcano spewed lava, ash, rocks and deadly hot gas onto hillside villages, killing over 100 people. Hundreds of families are still living in schools and churches. Sanitation and privacy are poor, as these buildings were not designed to house so many people. ShelterBox provided small tents that are being used as safe spaces to give families some privacy and preserve dignity.
Kenya - Flooding
Across Kenya heavy rain and flooding caused over 300,000 people to leave their homes in fact the 2018 March-May rains were the heaviest in the past 55 years, with some areas receiving twice the seasonal average. Flood waters took weeks to recede making many areas difficult to access for a long time. A dam burst in Kenya's Rift Valley killed more than 50 people in two villages, half of them children. The reservoir, situated on top of a hill 120 miles from Nairobi, gave way as nearby residents were sitting down to their evening meals. The deluge swept away power lines, homes and buildings, including a primary school. Importing aid in the country is a huge challenge, due to the country's strict plastic bag ban. They have resolved this by removing all plastic and repackaging ShelterKits and 648 households have received aid.
Syria - Ongoing Conflict
The conflict in Syria is entering its eighth year. What started out as a peaceful protest in 2011 has since become a brutal and complex civil war. It is estimated that over 13m people (around 70% of the population) in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance; 5.1m in acute need and more than 6m internally displaced. In January alone, 270,000 people were displaced. ShelterBox are working with their partners, Hand in Hand for Syria, ReliefAid and Bahar Organisation, to help those affected. In total, ShelterBox have helped 45,000 families who have been displaced by the war in Syria and so far in 2018 they have helped nearly 2,000 families by providing tents, tarpaulins, water carriers and solar lights. However there are millions more living in Syria and neighbouring countries who have no shelter, nowhere to go, and no hope for the future.
Ethipoia - Conflict and Flooding
In Ethiopia, severe flooding and conflict have forced people to leave their homes. Nearly 1m people have been forced to flee because of violent conflicts in the Guji-Gedo zone since last April. And severe flooding that started last April has also left thousands of families without homes. These rains have continued, triggering recurrent flooding and landslides. Thousands of people in the Oromia region have also been forced to flee after these devastating floods. ShelterBox are currently distributing to 200,000 households.
Iraq - Mosul
On 10 July 2017, the Iraqi government declared that Mosul had finally been liberated after three years of Islamic State control. People are slowly returning to Mosul, but there is still a huge need for aid in and around the city, and a massive displacement of civilians throughout the whole country. ShelterBox with the help of partners working in Iraq, provided essential aid and shelter to more than 8,000 families.
Philippines - Tropical Storms
Last December, Tropical Storms brought devastation to the Philippines, triggering widespread mudslides and flooding. More than 140,000 were forced from their homes, staying in evacuation centres and with host families. ShelterBox have supported nearly 1,000 families with ShelterBoxes, ShelterKits, water carriers and solar lights to support those families that needed help the most. Following the response, the Rotary Club of Biliran Island requested materials to support 29 families with more durable semi-permanent shelters. Families will live there for three years before being relocated to permanent accommodation by the government. 21 Rotary Village shelters have been built so far.
Lake Chad Basin - Crisis
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The violence has spread to the neighbouring regions of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. As of February 2018, 10.7 m people in the Lake Chad region are in need of relief assistance. 2.4 m are estimated to have been displaced and perpetual insecurity continues to drive displacement. Since 2015 ShelterBox have supported 11,000 households over the region.
Cameroon - together with partner IEDA Relief, shelter to over 7,000 families in Cameroon has been provided. They are also working in the extreme north of Cameroon, where families who have escaped Boko Haram need support. They are planning to build 100 emergency shelters to house 487 Cameroonians, which include students and pregnant women whose home communities will not allow them to return. A further 370 emergency tents and ShelterKits have been distributed.
Niger - recent Boko Haram attacks in Kablewa have led to massive population displacement in Niger. Many families have been forced to find shelter in host communities, spontaneous sites in the bush or in displacement camps. ShelterBox been working with Plan International Niger to provide emergency aid to these families. They have supported nearly 2,000 families so far, and are planning to provide shelter to a further 2,264 families who have been forced to flee their homes very soon.
Chad - in Chad, partnering with the local aid agency ICAHD, ShelterBox have distributed vital aid - blankets, buckets, solar lights, mosquito nets and ground sheets - to over 3,500 families.
Nigeria - the conflict in Nigeria is now entering its ninth year and the devastating consequences continue to impact structures and the lives of 8.5 million vulnerable people. Again in partnership with ACTED, 765 ShelterKits and other aid items have been distributed in two camps in North-Eastern Nigeria. Aid to a further 1,130 families will be provided shortly.
They responded to world events 24 times, an average of twice a month - the highest number of days ever deployed in one year and provided vital aid to 21 Countries- ShelterBoxes & Shelter Kits and tens of thousands of other non food aid such as tarpaulins, blankets, LuminAids, water carriers and rope have been distributed with the help of local Rotary Clubs.
This aid went to:
6 countries affected by conflict-associated displacement: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chad, Iraq, Niger and Syria
Tens of thousands of people were displaced after fleeing attacks from Boko Haram in Cameroon, Niger and Chad, the militant group has been waging this insurgency since 2009 and more than 2.3m people are displaced across the Lake Chad Basin. The Mosul and Raqqa offensives have displaced more than a million Iraqis leaving may without a home to go back to and the Syria conflict, now in its seventh year, has resulted in the internal displacement of over 13m people.
15 countries affected by natural disasters:
Hurricanes: Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic and St Kitts and Nevis
There was severe devastation in the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma early September with Hurricane Maria 2 weeks later aggravating the disaster.
Severe Flooding: Bangladesh, Colombia, Haiti, Paraguay and Peru
Monsoon rains in Nepal & Bangladesh were the worst to hit the country in 4 decades left 8m people in urgent need of aid; in Peru a year’s rainfall fell in the month of May and the receding waters left
Tropical Cyclones: Madagascar and Mozambique
In February tropical storm Dineo brought heavy rains and winds of more than 160km per hour to the south coast of Mozambique
The continuing severe drought in Somaliland has resulted in an 85% livestock loss during the year forcing communities to move increasingly large distances to seek fresh food for their animals resulting in their being displaced and destitute.
They provided 29,300 families with a variety of essential shelter and aid items that included:
In total over 28000 families were helped across 17 disasters 9 from natural disasters such as flood, landslide earthquake etc. and 8 as a result of conflict. Over recent years the conflict proportion has been increasing. The chart right shows usage as a percentage of donations.
Commencing end 2014 Malaysia was hit by intense monsoon rains, the worst for seen in the last 40 years, which continued unabated into 2015 engulfing villages and rain forest communities and displacing almost ¼m people. ShelterBox focused its aid in the eastern state of Pahang, where more than 130,000 people had been evacuated and the effects of the worst flooding reached further than the waters themselves with homes, villages and roads completely destroyed, leaving whole communities homeless and inaccessible. The only way to get ShelterBoxes to them was by river.
This video shows the extent of devastation caused by the flood waters and, after the water levels had fallen, how with the assistance of the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) the team got the boxes upriver to deliver aid to people who had lost everything.
Throughout the course of a year, the landlocked country of Malawi is regularly hit by floods and droughts, but last year's deluge again is said to be the worst in memory. It left more than 230,000 people without homes and destroyed countless farms and livelihoods. The Licungo and Zambezi rivers were flowing so rapidly that initially it was impossible to reach many displaced communities, even by boat. Helicopters were deployed, but continuing bad weather frustrated attempts to help families trapped without shelter or possessions. ShelterBox working through tough weather and challenging landscapes began distributing aid end March 15 and 6 of the Club's donated boxes were in that allocation. These boxes particularly included mosquito nets and water purification units that to help prevent disease. In total 2,124 families were supported with ShelterBoxes, Shelter kits and tarpaulins.
After months of negotiation ShelterBox distributed 500 boxes to war torn Gaza in March which contained gloves, hats and scarves as well as extra blankets, vital as Gaza had been experiencing extreme weather conditions with snowfall, hailstorms and flash flooding in places. The tents were designed with special ventilation, so that they would stay cool when the hot weather eventually arrived.
A category five cyclone devastated Vanuatu, one of the world's poorest nations, situated around 1,000 miles east of northern Australia in the South Pacific, causing destruction across the country's sprawling cluster of more than 80 islands. The strength of the storm which raged in March, with winds reaching almost 200 miles per hour, has been compared to that of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated large parts of the Philippines in 2013. More than a quarter of a million people were made homeless and up to 90% of structures destroyed or damaged - 2,500 tarps, 1,000 tool kits, 2,250 nets, 7,500 blankets and 1,500 solar lamps were distributed.
In Nepal conditions and import/export regulations together with the Government preference for rebuilding rather than tents posed problems to respond to the gigantic 7.2 mag earthquake. However 13,513 families were helped with 1736 shelter kits as these are smaller, lighter and easier to carry up the mountains, 497 UN tents, 69 Boxes and tarps.
Many of the homes affected by the flash flooding in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will take a long time to repair, so ShelterBox provided a selection of items that will help people to keep warm throughout the extreme temperatures experienced during the winter, which can be as low as -25°C. They used, for the first time, a new Flex 3 tent which is a quilted, three layer tent designed so that a stove can be safely placed and used inside. They have also provided the stoves, which can not only be used for cooking, but to heat the tent too and 400 families were helped in this way.
1500 families were supported with shelter kits in Chile following flooding and a huge volcanic eruption which engulfed houses (shown left). ShelterBox had to reconsider its normal deployment criteria with the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving in Greece in the autumn. Because of the situation they deployed 100 UN tents for 1 month; these were used by a different family every 2-3 days! A further Club sponsored ShelterBox was one of those deployed.
Political unrest in Burundi resulted in thousands fleeing to Tanzania, 998 families were given shelter with UN spec tents and ShelterBox continued to support the crisis in Syria. Millions of aid has been used over the last few years to try to keep the communities in Syria in these desperate situations for families and an additional 3111 families were supported with UN spec tents and non-food items. Similarly in Iraq-Kurdistan 327 families internally displaced fleeing ISIS were helped with ShelterBoxes.
Another refugee crisis was responded to in Niger (left) and Cameroon with migrants fleeing from Boko Haram in Nigeria; 1216 families were supported with ShelterBoxes in Niger and 1224 in Cameroon.
At the end of the year assistance was again sent to DPR Korea following a typhoon in the form of 400 Flex 3 tents with stoves with 2000 additional blankets.
Philippines – Typhoons Rammasun and Hagupit
Little more than one year after Typhoon Hayian caused devastation across the country it was struck again by Typhoon Hagupit (Typhoon Ruby locally) in December 2014 which has also cause vast damage. ShelterBox initially have deployed tarpaulins which can be used to make temporary shelters.
ShelterBox responded to the heavy rains in June by sending 488 shelter kits.
Flash flooding in late January/early February 2014 forced thousands of families from their homes in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. ShelterBox distributed 805 tents in Chingwizi camp. Camp residents were surviving with many families left sleeping on the bare earth for weeks on end, no more than frail black plastic sheeting keeping their families safe. Due to the remote location, many other agencies were unable to help.
ShelterBox sent aid to support over 4,500 families not only in Syria but also in neighbouring Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. Working with other organisations who already have an established presence in the country, ShelterBox was able to bring much needed aid to people in need in the camps as well as to those in less obvious areas. With winter conditions worsened with freezing temperatures and limited resources. The need for protection was critical and ShelterBox offered a winterised shelter solution.
ShelterBox has also been involved across the globe particularly in:
Fiji responding to Cyclone Evan - where the biggest cyclone to strike the Pacific nation in two decades left houses flattened and streets flooded. Aid was available in days due to boxes already having been pre-positioned
Nigeria where thousands of families were left homeless after the country's worst flooding in 50 years destroyed, houses, villages and crops. More than 1,300 families received shelter and essential equipment
Queensland, Australia where within in weeks of the raging bush fires in Tasmania, Tropical Cyclone Oswald caused widespread flooding and destruction and emergency shelter was needed to be used
Philippines where Typhoon Bopha caused unimaginable devastation
Madagascar where 150 boxes were sent in response to the worst floods from a cyclone since 1978
Uganda's Mbale district which endured a tough year having been hit by three disasters, including a cyclone, flooding and severe storm damage
SW Pakistan with 173 boxes were sent after an earthquake
Oklahoma, USA was severely impacted by tornadoes in May. There were massive piles of debris everywhere; personal items hanging out of trees, twisted mobile homes, people were living in their damaged cars that were tumbled during the tornadoes under tarpaulins and in standard tents that are not suitable for extreme weather conditions, especially during the hot summer months. ShelterBox tents were distributed to provide them a temporary solution to bridge the gap until rebuilding is complete
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) ShelterBox is one of very few western agencies invited to work there and a Rotarian connection in Shanghai, China and DPRK's Trade Ministry paved the way for ShelterBox to shelter rural families made homeless by last year's typhoon and this summer's heavy rains. This country has extremely harsh winters, but the world paid little attention to Typhoon Bolaven, because it seemed unlikely that this insular republic would either ask for, or accept, any outside help. Nevertheless ShelterBox were able to establish this unusual supply route. 3 of the Club's donated boxes were sent out in June to Korea. The picture shows ShelterBox tents by the river in Unpa. Continuous rains in the summer caused the water level to rise
Sudan floods in the Khartoum area affected over 300,000 people who were made homeless and there were more in the White Nile area further south. Many houses were made of sun-dried bricks which simply dissolved when the floodwaters rose. 504 tents were distributed to families and 24 School Boxes were also distributed in White Nile area
Niger in September 2013 when there was widespread flooding particularly in and around the capital Niamey. Local Rotarians, the Scouts, Red Cross, and the Fire Brigade helped ShelterBox bring much-needed shelter to families made homeless. Once the tents arrived, the camp was set up within a few days and families were moving in their new homes as tents were pitched. 'We love our ShelterBox tent as when we zip it up it keeps out scorpions, mosquitos and rain,' commented one family with nine children. 'It even has a floor. In just three hours the water completely flooded our house; it just melted away leaving us with nothing.' ShelterBox also provided Lifestraws (water filters) to Oxfam for them to be used by thousands of people in Agadez who had been drinking out of dirty rivers
Pakistan's Baluchistan province suffered a 7.7-magnitude tremor in an area prone to quakes and other disasters, demolishing homes and causing hundreds of people to lose their lives and many casualties. Another 7.2 quake hit in the same area a week later. ShelterBox sent 800 tents to the affected area within hours to be distributed
Philippines where rebel fighting in Zamboanga south-west caused at least 13,000 people to find shelter and 380 midi tents were provided. The effects of the 7.2-magnitude quake were also felt in the Philippines in Cebu and Bohol, where infrastructure crumbled and major roads been ripped open and blocked by landslides resulting in loss of life as well as many people injured.
They responded to:
- flooding in Brazil, Fiji, Peru, Russia, Democratic Republic of Korea, Philippines, Nigeria, USA, Nigel, Pakistan, Uganda, and Columbia
- Tropical Storms in Madagascar, Haiti, Philippines and Figi
- Earthquakes in Italy, Philippines, Guatemala
- Mud and landslides in Peru
- an arms depot explosion in the Republic of Congo
- the devastation in New York from Hurricane Sandy with the deployment of 5,900 blankets.
However the conflict in Syria has forced more than 1 million people to leave their homes with refugees flooding to south Sudan, Lebanon and Iraq-Kurdistan. In response ShelterBox deployed special 'winterised' tents insulated with aluminium foil which gives an extra 10% warmth.
The importance of the work of ShelterBox can be seen in its responses to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in New Zealand.
Japan was rocked by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded and a devastating tsunami. The northeast coast of Japan's main island, Honshu, faced the full impact of the tsunami and roads, rail, power and ports were all destroyed. Close to 350,000 people were living in emergency evacuation centres throughout the country. The large aftershocks, heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures and a severe lack of fuel created huge challenges for the aid efforts.
ShelterBox consider the destruction rivalled the worst of anything they had ever seen before and was the most complex disaster scenario ever dealt with. ShelterBox tents were set up for families in desperate need in the tsunami-hit Iwate Prefecture of Japan, one of the areas worst affected by the tsunami. OCHA has stated that the most vulnerable groups currently living in the evacuation centres began to suffer from the psychological toll of spending nights in a communal centre, in freezing temperatures, having lost everything in the disaster. So ShelterBox tents were used to provide privacy and restore dignity to the 200 families sheltering in an evacuation centre – a school gymnasium - in Ofunato.
Shortly before the earthquake in Japan ShelterBox had responded to a devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand where over 10,000 homes were destroyed. 120 boxes were sent out immediately from Australia and a further 200 were sent by air freight from the UK.
Following this earthquake the Club asked members for their support for the Rotary Club of Belfast, Christchurch. The members responded admirably and £1,053 was forwarded to them which they have used to donate emergency boxes to each classroom of Belfast School, Christchurch.
228,417 ShelterBoxes were sent to Haiti after the earthquake; more than they have ever sent out before in one year, let alone to one country delivering emergency shelter to more than 284,000 people. The first boxes were used to build emergency field hospitals. There were desperate conditions with amputations happening every half hour.
Only 7 weeks after the disaster more than 7,000 ShelterBoxes provided shelter for over 70,000 people. Several small encampments throughout the country had been set up and thousands of people left homeless in the Capital were able to move to a 'city of tents' - a camp with hundreds of ShelterBox tents situated near to the US Embassy in Port au Prince. The encampment named Congress Camp allowed them to stay close to their communities and carry on with their daily lives.
This emergency shelter solution has been robust enough to last over a year and close to a million people are still sheltering in makeshift camps throughout Haiti. Tragically, it seems very unlikely that families will be moving out in 2011.
The floods that swept through Pakistan in August 2010, with nearly a month of rain, were described as having the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami coupled with the devastation of the Haiti earthquake. At one point, a fifth of the country, an area bigger than the UK, was under water and an estimated 20 million people were directly affected by the flooding. The floods killed thousands, wiped out villages, infrastructure and farmland, and left millions of people homeless. Picture shows a camp near Karachi.
Throughout the year ShelterBox was present in Africa delivering aid in Kenya, Egypt, Uganda and Niger, helping hundreds of families on both sides of the continent. This year's annual flooding in West Africa caused chaos across the region and the floods in Benin were the worst to hit the country in close to 50 years.
Central and South America
ShelterBox also responded to a series of disasters throughout Central and South America – floods in Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Mexico, landslides in Guatemala and Peru, Hurricane in St Lucia, Cyclone in Figi and a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Chile.
Indonesia & China
In mid-October, ShelterBox was operating in Indonesia and the Philippines - Indonesia was hit by twin disasters – a tsunami off the coast of Sumatra and the eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java. These a week after super-typhoon, Megi, left a trail of destruction behind it. ShelterBox is also helped families who lost their homes in the eruption of Mount Merapi, Central Java. The tsunami was triggered by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck 20 kilometres beneath the ocean floor off the island of Sumatra. The massive wave swept up to 600 meters inland in some places and triggered a huge response from ShelterBox. ShelterBox also responded to an earthquake in China.