Dis­as­ter re­lief drive con­tin­ues

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

The Ro­tary Club of Mata­mata has re­launched its suc­cess­ful pub­lic cam­paign to raise funds for vic­tims of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters around the world.

Last year’s cam­paign raised al­most $3500 which was sent to Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional to re­plen­ish stocks of vi­tal shel­ter boxes and emer­gency re­sponse kits which are dis­trib­uted by the world­wide arm of the or­gan­i­sa­tion when­ever dis­as­ter strikes.

Mata­mata Ro­tary pres­i­dent David Wheadon said it was hoped this year’s cam­paign would be just as suc­cess­ful in rais­ing not just funds but aware­ness of the project as well.

‘‘We hope the peo­ple of Mata­mata will again be as gen­er­ous with their giv­ing as they were last year,’’ he said.

‘‘We (Mata­mata Ro­tary) don’t pick or choose dis­as­ters to sup­port. These shel­ter boxes and kits are ad­min­is­tered by a prac­tised in­ter­na­tional team from Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional who dis­trib­ute these vi­tal sup­plies as and when they are re­quired,’’ Mr Wheadon said.

Shel­ter boxes have been de­scribed by the Red Cross as ‘‘the best form of pri­mary aid in dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions they have seen in 25 years’’ and have in re­cent times be­ing de­liv­ered to vic­tims of flood­ing in Brazil, Colom­bia, Sri Lanka and Panama.

Since the pro­gramme be­gan in the United King­dom in 2001, more than 100,000 shel­ter boxes have been dis­trib­uted world­wide. Each box costs $1500, funded pri­mar­ily by do­na­tions and monies re­ceived from Ro­tary clubs from around the world.

In­cluded in a typ­i­cal shel­ter box are a domed tent for 10 peo­ple, blan­kets and sleep­ing bags for up to 20 peo­ple, a multi-fuel stove, wa­ter car­ri­ers, wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion tablets for six months, plates and uten­sils and treated mos­quito nets.

The Emer­gency Re­sponse Kit project was launched in New Zealand and its ob­jec­tive is to pro­vide a ready stock of these boxes for dis­tri­bu­tion in the South Pa­cific. The kits con­tain sur­vival-type items and cost $600 each.

Mr Wheadon said it was vi­tal that Ro­tary main­tained good stocks of each kit so that when dis­as­ter struck a re­sponse could be launched al­most im­me­di­ately.

‘‘This is a pos­i­tive way that peo­ple can en­sure a dol­lar’s worth of giv­ing pro­duces a dol­lar’s worth of aid for those who desperately need it,’’ he said.

Mata­mata res­i­dents wish­ing to do­nate to the club’s aid project can do so at Paper Plus on Broad­way. The ap­peal will close at the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Back again: The Shire has been re­built at Mata­mata’s Hob­biton for the up-com­ing film­ing of which is set to go ahead in March.

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