|Yushu Earthquake Relief Report|
|Attached to this information is a report on YER/ SSG
disaster relief efforts activities (below) and an
introduction to our mid term long term plans (here).
We are now seeking for some partners to financially support those programs.
Should you need more detailed information on one of several of those programs, please feel free to contact Pierre Devé.
Some programs are more urgent than others:
* Assistance to small business start
With the warmest regards,
If as a representative of a foreign aid organization you are interested in supporting the work of SSG, and you are not sure as how to proceed or get into contact, as well if you doubt as how it is possible to proceed legally or how SSG's work is held in esteem you may contact Andreas Gruschke of University of Leipzig. (Project A4 "Nomads without pastures? Political Ecology and Human Security" of the Collaborative Research Centre of the universities of Halle and Leipzig, www.nomadsed.de)
Report on YER/ SSG disaster relief efforts activities and
an introduction to our mid term long term plans
Snowland Service Group/Yushu Emergency Response Team
The local economy of Jiegu was destroyed with the earthquake on April 14, 2010, and local people continue to be almost completely dependent on external aid. The government of Qinghai estimates that the process of rebuilding will take three years and that the transformation of Yushu into an ecological tourism destination will take an additional two years. Many challenges remain.
The Yushu Earthquake Response (YER) team, a coalition of NGOs established in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, serves to complement and supplement government efforts at earthquake relief. Since beginning our work, we have received a total of CNY 5.632 million in donations, of which CNY1.71 million has come in the form of monetary funds and CNY3.652 million has been in the form of supplies and materials. This total includes 7 truckloads of materials and supplies--five of which had a value of 550,000rmb and two of which were valued at 320,000rmb. Donations came from private donors, enterprises, and domestic and international organizations. Among the organizational donors are the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, Oxfam Hong Kong, MercyCorps, Vantone Foundation, Mother’s Love Foundation, and the American Heart Association.
Disaster relief supplies began arriving at our camp in Xinzai village outside Jiegu on the morning of April 18th. We began distributing the goods immediately. The main distribution points are the migrant community from Chalai Village, Batang Township, Yushu County; Xinzai Village Yushu County; Guowu and Chesong Communities of Xinzai Village and Ranwupu Village; migrant communities from Zhaqu South Road, and Minzhu Road, Zhaxike Road, and Dangdai Road; Yushu Prefectural People’s Art House; Yushu Meat Processing Factory; the prefectureal Middle School; Yushu Comprehensive School; Gaxiu Township Administration and Burong Village, Anchong Township,
Below is a list of supplies YER/SSG has received and distributed:
1. Articles for daily use, such as candles, flashlights, clothes, shoes,
toys, quilts and tents.
Snowland Service Group (SSG) has participated in several assessments of earthquake areas. On April 19th, SSG and Ren Ai Charity Foundation conducted a survey in several of the worst-hit areas and submitted the information to the local government-run Disaster Relief Headquarters. The local government was then able to begin relief efforts on the basis of those assessments. On May 4, 2010 three teams composed of representatives from SSG and the Chinese Poverty Alleviation Foundation assessed the effects of the disaster in Nangqian, Zhiduo and Qumalai Counties. Following the assessment, the China Poverty Alleviation Foundation donated 500 disaster relief tents to quake affected people.
The Vantone Foundation and SSG have worked together to set up waste management and garbage collection sites in parks where local residents are living in tents. We trained quake victims and student volunteers to collect and sort garbage into recyclable and non-recyclable categories. We educated them on the importance of environmental protection to create healthier living conditions and hence to reduce the risk of disease.
Since April 25th, YER has been sending two farm vehicles with plastic barrels containing two tons of water each to make daily deliveries of drinking water to affected areas with a shortage of water. We hope this will help the victims to live normal lives and boost their confidence.
With the immediate rescue and relief operations complete, the
rehabilitation phase is beginning. Damaged buildings and houses are being
destroyed and the rubble is being removed from Jiegu city. SSG/YER
is also entering a transition phase during which we will concentrate our
efforts on the rehabilitation of Yushu
Education has always been one of SSG’s main areas of focus. Yushu’s educational facilities have been heavily affected by the earthquake. The Yushu educational system is still in shock, and rehabilitation plans are unclear. Except for the Grade 3 students, who are currently preparing to take their college entrance examinations, the current plan is for all students to be moved to other Chinese cities at least for the duration of this school year, which ends in August. Some students have already been moved. Others are waiting to leave. The impact on the students has yet to be understood.
SSG has prioritized 4 educational programs;
1. Scholarships for affected high school and university students:
A number of students have lost several families members, including those upon whom they depended for financial support. Without external aid, these students will not be able to continue their studies. SSG has some funds for scholarships but still needs to conduct an assessment to determine how many students will need scholarships. It is likely that after the assessment, SSG will need to raise further funds to insure that as many as possible of the affected students are able to attend school.
2. Open Spaces Forums
In order to gain a better understanding of how best to rebuild
the educational system, SSG will convene several community meetings, which
will include officials from the local education bureau, school principals,
as well as local teachers and scholars. Using the participatory methodology
known as open spaces, participants will work together to determine how
to plan and implement the rehabilitation of Yushu’s educational system.
3-4. Continuing the ETP program
SSG’s English language training program (ETP) for high school students has been one of its most successful. endeavors While many ETP students were traumatized both because of their own experiences and the tragic deaths of 5 of their fellows who were trapped when their dormitory collapsed, the disaster has only strengthened our commitment to the continuing success of this program.
SSG is currently seeking support for two ETP related activities. First, Grade 2 and Grade 3 students need financial support to continue the program for the next academic year’.
Second, SSG is seeking funding to build a temporary school for
ETP students on the outskirts of Jiegu. Immediately after the earthquake,
SSG considered trying to move the ETP students elsewhere to continue their
studies. Upon further reflection, we concluded that it would be best
for the students to remain in Yushu where they will have the support of
their friends and remaining family members. We also believe it is important
for these students be part of the community effort to reconstruct Jiegu.
Thus SSG is currently negotiating with the local authorities to set up
the temporary school just outside Jiegu.
Health and Sanitation;
Free medical facility
All of Jiegu’s hospitals were severely damaged during the earthquake. They are still unable to provide normal treatment to patients. While a few temporary clinics have been set up by the staff of provincial level hospitals and the Chinese Red Cross, the closure of these temporary clinics will affect the community’s access to prescription medicine and medical treatment.
SSG has concluded that the establishment of a free clinic is necessary to improve the circumstances in the resettlement camps and reduce the risks of infectious diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and STDs, The clinic will also educate local displaced persons on proper hygiene and sanitation and work with local government organs to improve government administration health care and sanitation. SSG will be seeking funding for this project.
Waste management program:
Waste management was a serious problem in Jiegu even before the earthquake, with only 2 trucks collecting garbage along Jiegu’s two main roads. With all survivors of the earthquake now living in crowded, overpopulated tent camps with extremely limited living space, the problems of waste management, sanitation and hygiene have become even more severe. Most tent camps have no public toilets, no means to practice proper hygiene, no garbage collection, and only limited numbers of containers to store food and vegetables. Moreover, even with outside food deliveries, nutritious food is in short supply. Without proper shelter and with limited access to proper health care, nutrition, and sanitation, health problems are likely to worsen once the cold weather begins in October. The risk of water pollution and disease is extremely high, especially for children and the elderly.
On April 20th , SSG launched a waste management pilot project, with very successful results. Displaced residents all welcomed the program. With the support of the Chinese Vantone foundation and support from the local authorities, SSG has begun expanding the program to 7 camps and may later expand the program even further.
The current program consists of 3 main phases:
During Phase 1, SSG will conduct a month-long training on garbage collection and waste management for teams of volunteers in camps. Local monks from the Jiegu monastery will also participate as volunteers, helping to increase the awareness of local displaced persons of the importance of proper sanitation and waste management. During this first phase, trash bins and garbage collection bags will be distributed to the 7 camps. The main goal of the first phase is develop a replicable model for other areas.
During phase 2 of the program, SSG will gradually phase out its direct involvement, turning management over to the teams of volunteers, who will receive stipends for their work. SSG will continue providing assistance and support. Phase 2 will last for 4 months.
Phase 3 will be dedicated to promoting this “ model “ of waste management so it can be duplicated in a larger program run by the local authorities. Our efforts during this phase will concentrate on promoting our model, its positive impact and its feasibility.
Yushu’s local economy came to halt with the earthquake in April, and the large majority of Jiegu’s population is still depending solely on aid from the government and other outside organizations to survive. Now manyt local people are pinning their economic hopes on a successful caterpillar fungus season. The camps began emptying last week, as people set out to dig caterpillar fungus. But the price of this year’s caterpillar fungus is expected to be extremely low. When families return to the camps with limited income from the sale of caterpillar fungus, they will be facing the prospect of a harsh winter in tents with few resources and no means to earn a living. This could be a source of tension.
Nonetheless, the near annihilation of the local economy is also a source of opportunity for local people, SSG has developed immediate, mid and long term plans to assist local people take advantage of these opportunities to begin generating their own income and participating in the rehabilitation of the local economy.
SSG is still discussing means to help local entrepreneurs. We are discussing the possibilities of g 4 different programs:
1. Assistance to small-scale business start ups.
SSG is currently identifying local entrepreneurs who have lost their businesses because of the earthquake and who will need loans to re-start,. We are also trying to identify people who have feasible business plans and want to start new businesses. SSG will help arrange loans and capacity building training to such entrepreneurs to allow them to restart their economic activities as soon as possible. This program will last for one year, during which the new businesses should be up and running
2. Set up a vocational training center.
In the longer term, SSG is working to help set up a vocational training center for local people to acquire skills that will allow them to earn a reasonable livelihood as Jiegu rebuilds.
3. Establish 30 tsampa factories in rural areas
4. Supplies Distribution
The living conditions of some quake victims, particularly in the
villages, remain precarious, especially with respect to proper shelter.
Some rural areas still have not received tents, and lack basic implements
necessary for daily life. These problems will become particularly acute
as the winter seasons starts when the temperatures begin to fall at the
end of September,. SSG will continue to monitor the situations in camps,
so as to be able to respond to any urgent needs and develop needed distribution
SSG hopes to continue serving as a model as the process of rehabilitation
begins, and we hope that our successful implementation of the projects
described above will be emulated and replicated by other organizations.
All of our above listed programs will include an advocacy component. SSG/YER
will document its successes in manuals in Tibetan/ English/ Chinese to
be used by other interested organizations.