First I want to give a big shout out to 5 majors doners of the weekend: Robyn Caponi, Brebeuf Jesuit Immersion Trip kids pulling together, and two NGO, one is Voices on the Border
and the other being SACDEL. Voices (rep. being Rosie Ramsey) bought the gas containers, and we filled up with gas from $$ from CRS that Directo Rick Jones authorized me to spend. This enables the last few families to leave Joya Grande and evacuate to safe shelters, and was used in Health Clinic fumigation machines today to get rid of the mosquito problem and try and prevent dengue epidemics.
Joya Grande has NO WATER and NO ACCESS via bus, so we have been trying to stock their supplies and coordinate with other organizations like SACDEL to cover other needs. SACDEL agreed to buy local food from Coop CONFRAS for 26 families for the next 15 days, which will be a big support for those families. the 26 families we chose from people who has lost their house in the last storm (Ida) and have been recently been relocated .5km away to a safer place in somewhat diginified nice looking pieces of sheet metal.
The water problem in Joya Grande was solved by Mercedes. Her community, Santa Maria, 25 minutes away, still had their water system. So instead of spending TONS of money buying boxed and bagged potable water, we paid motorists and made a schedule to fill and refill large barrels of water every few hours and have the community come get what they need. It fills a bare minimum, but so essential. This money was from Brebeuf kids donations, and is providing water to 350 families (over 1300 people).
Finally, we are set to buy essential medicines for Joya Grande tmrw to keep them stocked until there is access again. hydration for the 15 pregnant woman in the community, powdered milk, fungus medicine (lots of wierd skin fungus always happened after water related disasters), parasite medicine (again, lack of water means dirty river drinking!).
Something really exciting was that this time, international NGOs contacted US!!! I feel like we are gaining recognition as being the NGO reference for the region of Santiago Texacuangos, which is good. I think we did a good job being the LINK between victims and big NGOs and institutions, WHICH was personally stressful for me as my phone rang off the hook all day and i spent like $100 in saldo. ....but means we have come a long way.
Agatha is over. No houses fell over in Santiago, but the storm claimed 150 lives in Central America.
Other parts of El Salvador were more affected- lots of farmers in bajo lempa lost all there animals and crops, and that is one of the poorest areas of the country.
Finally, another climate change comment. 2 tropical storms in 6 months that cuase a state of emergency in El Salvador is NOT NORMAL. More rain fell in Agatha than it did in Ida, Stan or Mitch (albiet over 6 days instead of 4 hours). If El Salvador has national emergencies for Tropical Storms, I DO NOT even want to think what a hurricane looks like in this horribly deforested volcanic overpopulated country just clinging on for identity.
O trees, where did you go? GROW BACK!