Monday, October 27, 2008

The Flood! and Corruption!

As a result of hurricanes in the Caribbean and huge amounts of rainfall in Honduras, we have experienced severe flooding in Valle, Honduras.

The bridge was 25 meters wide. The river was so wild, that it broke out the side of the dirt wall going to the bridge and forced it's way around it. After the water resided, the people were left with a bridge to nowhere. The river bed is now 150 meters wide.
Under where the people are standing is where the water used to flow. The water system pipes are broken and there is no drinking water on one side of the bridge.

Dr. Catherine Foster and I have been working jointly with the PMA Programme Mundial de Alimentos or WFP World Food Program which is part of the United Nations. There have been some 650 families served as a result of the assistance after the flooding in Valle, Honduras.
In the photo to the right we are receiving a "briefing" on what is going on and what needs to be done.
Jose and I were receiving calls for help from Valle so I started looking for food. I went to PMA and when I spoke with the director, he said, "Before we get started, aren't you the woman that asked for food after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 for the prisoners?" And yes I was, I sat in the office of COPECO and told them that I would not move until they gave me food. They walked around me for 8 hours and decided that I was not going to give up, so he remembered me.

When Catherine and I arrived at the river, we had to walk across a log and then climb a ladder to get up on the river bank on the other side. The photo below is the log that we crossed and the photo to the right is Catherine Foster climbing the ladder.
I am thrilled to be an ongoing part of this food aid. I have had a chance to share with many people and in the following weeks, I will have more chances to meet and get to know many others. I am working closely with a pastor from Playa Grande by the name of Fernando. He has been a blessing because he knows all of the families and has made our work much easier.
PMA gives each family a food packet which consists of:
11 pounds of rice
4 pounds of beans
33 pounds of corn
2 bottles of oil
11 pounds of a soy and wheat mix

This in theory is enough to feed a family of 5 for 6 days. The only problem is that many of the families are receiving reduced rations.

Yesterday I found several families which didn't receive their full portions, I found a family of 9 children and 2 adults which only received 4 pounds of rice, 2 pounds of beans, 25 pounds of corn, the full amount of soy and only 1 bottle of oil. Somewhere between PMA and the family, almost half of the food was stolen. I am in the process of finding out what has happened to the other food. The day prior, I found another family that did not receive their fair portion. Smells like corruption to me.
I came home today, to wash clothes and tennis shoes and am heading back tonight. This will be my last blog for a few weeks.

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