People living in and around Tecpán, Guatemala, are still coming to terms with the devastating effects of the mud slides caused by Tropical Storm Stan in September 2005. Salvation Army personnel have been working to alleviate the suffering felt by more than 300 families still living in Tecpán’s community centre and 500 families from six villages in the area.
So far The Salvation Army has provided meals, clothing, medical care, counselling, safe play areas and activities for children –helping more than 14,000 people. The main needs now are for family-size shelters and drinking water. The majority of illnesses come from the unsanitary living conditions and lack of clean water.
The Salvation Army has worked with the Rotary Shelterbox Programme to receive a 40-foot container from the United Kingdom containing 120 Shelterboxes – each containing temporary shelter and necessary household items for 10 people – and 140 Aquaboxes – each of which can purify 1,000 litres of water – at a cost of around £120,000. The container will arrive by mid-January when the Aquaboxes will be distributed immediately and the Shelterboxes will used as necessary.
The Salvation Army plans to focus its ongoing recovery work on supporting single women and children. It will also help the communities it has been working with in their long-term redevelopment programmes.