Distributing Shelter Kits To Flood-Hit Families In Chile

Torrential floods caused massive damage in the Atacama region of Chile. (John Cordell/ShelterBox)

Torrential floods caused massive damage in the Atacama region of Chile. (John Cordell/ShelterBox)

ShelterBox is working in partnership with fellow aid agency Habitat for Humanity to distribute shelter kits to people whose homes have been severely damaged by flooding in the Atacama region of Chile.

This spring, the Atacama region of Chile, which is usually one of the driest places on Earth, received more than seven years’ worth of rain in just 24 hours, causing massive damage to homes, buildings and infrastructure.

When the flooding first took place, many people moved in with host families, but now that the waters have started to recede, the focus has shifted to repairing homes.

ShelterBox has therefore decided to send 1,000 shelter kits to the region, which cannot only be used to make temporary shelters, but contain ropes, tarpaulins and tools to help clear away debris and to make repairs on structures, such as waterproofing roofs.

The kits are being distributed by Habitat for Humanity, an organisation specialising in eliminating homelessness and housing issues in countries around the world, which has been working in Chile for the last 14 years. In addition, the Chilean Red Cross and the regional government will be helping to distribute shelter kits too.

ShelterBox response team member John Cordell, who was part of a team that carried out assessments on the need for shelter in Chile, explained the benefits of using shelter kits: ‘Our work with Habitat for Humanity in Chile to provide shelter kits to people after the flooding disaster is helping to bridge the transition from an emergency response to a more enduring shelter solution.’

ShelterBox is also partnering with Habitat for Humanity elsewhere in Chile following another natural disaster. In the south of the country, the Calbuco Volcano has erupted several times, causing flows of mud and debris to damage everything in their path, while ash clouds have travelled hundreds of miles, burying houses in as much as 10 inches of ash.

A further 500 shelter kits will be distributed to families whose houses have been damaged by the volcanic activity.

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