Project Stories:

Help for the people in Manabí

New accommodations for the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador

by LKO, 2017/02/07

Shortly before seven o´clock of the 16th of April 2016, a severe earthquake caused panic among the people in Western Ecuador. The tremors of a Richter scale 7.8 resulted in hundreds of fatalities, ten thousands of casualties and as many destroyed and damaged houses.

humedica took action as quick as before and, within hours, sent out a medical team to the disaster region to care for the survivors. But even when the emergency relief intervention was completed, we stayed on in this South American country and support till date the reconstruction of the ruined accommodations. In the province of Manabí we could finance completely ten houses and could contribute to the construction of 1.118 other accommodations by providing building material and tools. Hence in total 1.128 families could leave their temporary tents and emergency accommodations and move into a new home within the first year after the earthquake.

Only thanks to the many volunteers of the humedica partner organisation Hogar de Cristo these measures could be completed so fast and comprehensively. Shortly after the earthquake the trained volunteers were already able to conduct exhaustive surveys in the affected regions together with the local employees of the organisation to identify needy families, who would have become homeless without help from outside. The following reconstruction of the houses was for the major part also managed by trained helpers: in cooperation with the assigned craftsmen they transported the building material for the basic houses to their destination in Manabí and set them up there.

Joint support for people in need: volunteers helped to build the new houses. Photo: Hogar de Cristo

One of the many families, whose life was changed because of this relief intervention, is the one of Paola Márquez in the small coast area of San Vicente. When the earthquake had destroyed their home and all of their belongings, the single parent Paola and her three children were left with nothing. They found shelter at their neighbours, who could hardly accommodate a second family in their little house.

Their new accommodation brought back hope to the Márquez family. Even so it is only a basic house, it means a major improvement in their living conditions, it offers a shelter and saved the family from a homeless life.

Since the beginning of the relief activities of humedica and Hogar de Cristo 265 volunteers supported the people in Ecuador. Their great engagement allowed for a not only fast, but also sustainable improvement of the living conditions, which were already characterised by poverty before. After the completion and hand-over of the wooden houses now the support enters a new round: thanks to the donation of local companies some of these houses can be provided with electricity. Also this work will be executed by a group of volunteers, who were trained by electricians.

An intervention, which would not have been possible without your support, dear friends and sponsors. Thank you very much for supporting our work at Ecuador with your donation and for improving noticeably the lives of so many people in need.

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