Peter Goff of Sichuan Quake Relief personally inspected the quake-stricken areas of Lushan the day of the quake. He reported that the most urgently needed items are hygiene packs—items that are useful in a camping environment, including waterproof tape, ponchos, matches, latex gloves, disinfection spray, toothbrushes and toothpaste, infant-care materials and so forth. SQR is currently assembling and distributing such packs. Goff estimates the cost of each pack at less than RMB100.
Although the damage caused by the quake is on a much smaller scale than that left by the 2008 quake, the mountainous terrain around Lushan county makes access to affected villages very challenging, said Goff, recounting that two relief trucks slid off the side of the road the day of the quake. Additionally, the affected areas are generally poverty-stricken compared to those most affected in 2008. Military personnel are distributing food and water, and access to the areas has been heavily restricted.
After immediate rescue and relief efforts have finished, the next steps are rehabilitation, counseling, and rebuilding communities alongside reconstruction. It may take years to get people in homes again. Apart from distributing immediately needed materials, for the next couple of weeks, SQR is assessing the situation and determining how they can best provide continued relief to those in need. During the 2008 and 2010 quakes, SQR also acted as a conduit to link other NGOs with communities in need. But many of the organizations that set up in Sichuan in 2008 have long since moved on, their funding dried up.
HOW TO HELP
Sichuan Quake Relief is community-response organization that launched shortly after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Its ongoing efforts provided much-needed immediate relief after the 2008 Wenchuan and 2010 Yushu quakes. Over the long term, SQR has contributed significantly to sustained development efforts in the affected areas, including setting up a community-owned school and community center. Part of SQR's mission statement is to be a 100-percent transparent organization with zero administration costs. Donations are currently being used the assemble and distribute the hygiene packs. "If you make a donation, we'll get materials out there," said Goff.
Donate by credit card
Donate by bank transfer:
Sichuan Development Foundation Limited
71-85B Hennessy Road G/F Hay Wah Building
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Account number: 813-298569-001
Swift Code: HSBCHKHHHKH
Attend a fundraising event
Fundraisers are being held around the world and in Chengdu, the Bookworm is hosting the SQR BBQ and Benefit Gig for the victims of the Ya'an Quake with a handful of Chengdu-based musicians including Solidaz, Red Water, and Philip Crosbie. Entrance will be free, and all proceeds from the all-you-can-eat barbecue (RMB100), mini bar, and raffle tickets will go toward quake relief efforts.
This event starts this Saturday, April 26, at 5 p.m.
Proceeds from a previously planned Evening of Comedy with Des Bishop, the Irish-American comedian, organized by Sichuan Quake Relief and Rotary Friends Chengdu, will also go toward quake relief. Entrance is a minimum donation of RMB75 and this event starts at 8:30 p.m. next Saturday, May 4.
Additional Fundraising Events [Update]
French wine and food, cultural programming @ La Passion in the Suning Square (next to Galleria Mall). Friday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. Entrance: RMB290
If you or your organization is putting together an event you would like announced here, please send details.
Given the dangers and difficulties of accessing affected areas, SQR is not currently calling for volunteers. Any changes in this status will be updated on this post.
Various local groups are organizing fundraising efforts, and these kinds of activities are ways to donate time and skills to the cause.