Fresh drinking water for hundreds of families badly affected by the Haiti earthquake is being provided with the help of a £25,000 donation made to the Red Cross by Freemasons.
At least 650,000 people across Haiti are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance as a result of the earthquake. The structural devastation has been enormous, especially in the cities of Jérémie and Les Cayes on the southern peninsula of the country, where around 53,000 homes have been destroyed and a further 77,000 damaged, along with severe damage to major infrastructure like roads and bridges. Extensive damage to health facilities and worsening access to safe water and sanitation from mudslides and flooding has exacerbated the crisis.
Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England and the Freemasons’ charity the MCF, has responded to the emergency by providing support to the Red Cross Movement’s work such as distributing relief goods, ensuring good water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent the outbreak of diseases as well as providing access to healthcare to those most in need.
The earthquake was centred 12km northeast of the town of Saint-Louis du Sud, with tremors were felt hundreds of kilometres away in Jamaica and Cuba. It is the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 2010, when the capital city of Port-au-Prince was devastated. It’s the third major earthquake to hit the country in the past decade.
Alongside improving access to clean water, the Red Cross has reached over 40,000 people with blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen kits and hygiene kits to provide essential shelter and hygiene support.
Lincolnshire Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Luke Tredget, Head of Emergencies, Surge and Technical Advisory at the Red Cross, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti. Providing clean water is one of the absolutely essential steps to prevent the spread of cholera and other deadly water-borne disease, which can have a devastating effect, especially on children and other vulnerable people.”
Dave Wheeler, Lincolnshire’s Provincial Grand Master, said: “Tens of thousands of people are in desperate need of help in Haiti, and there’s nothing more important than clean water after a disaster like this. I’m proud the Freemasons are keeping up our proud record of helping people around the world when disaster strikes.”