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The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) on the ground in Nigeria has been working with Rotary in the flood stricken country, whilst awaiting the arrival of the first consignment of boxes.
SRT members, Mike Greenslade (AUS) and Derek Locke (USA) flew south to Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, to meet with Rotary and local government contacts to continue assessing the need for emergency shelter.
'Many of the flood affected areas remain underwater and unseasonal daily rainstorms have only exacerbated the situation,' said Mike.
'Following a meeting with the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Tele Ikuru, we were shown around some of the temporary camps in local schools. The displaced people are being well looked after but conditions are crowded. In Mbiama there were 1,800 people sharing one school, in Akinima, another 1,000.
Photo by Mike Greenslade. Young mother with baby sheltering in a school in Mbiama, Rivers State, Nigeria, following extensive flooding. The school is a temporary home to 1,800 people, November 2012.
'His Excellency said we have arrived at a critical time because many people are keen to move back to their land as soon as the water recedes. ShelterBox can provide a solution for those whose homes are badly damaged or completely destroyed, whilst they begin to rebuild their lives.'
Meanwhile, in Idah, Kogi State, preparations for the first ShelterBox camp are well underway.
'We've been working closely with the local government Liaison Officers and are really pleased with progress on the first camp,' said Derek. 'Pit latrines have being dug and a bore hole drilled for the provision of fresh water. We eagerly await the imminent arrival of our first boxes.'
A second SRT comprising of Ian Neal (UK) and Tom Newman (UK) have arrived safely in country and the handover process is well underway.