ShelterBox has been working with the Korean Committee for the Promotion of International Trade (KOMT) to provide shelter for families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by a succession of heavy storms and a harsh winter.
Many of the homes affected in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will take a long time to repair, so ShelterBox has provided a selection of items that will help people to keep warm throughout the extreme temperatures experienced during the winter, which can be as low as -25°C.
The equipment includes Flex 3 tents, a new addition to ShelterBox’s range of aid, which is a quilted, three layer tent designed so that a stove can be safely placed and used inside. We have also provided the stoves, which can not only be used for cooking, but to heat the tent too.
The 400 families that we are helping across four provinces have also received winterisation kits and boxes full of household supplies.
The winterisation kits include partition walls that help keep heat in, along with insulated sleeping mats that can be stuffed with materials such as straw to create warm mattresses. The boxes, which are a smaller version of ShelterBox’s iconic green boxes contain a selection of items to help people return to everyday routines, such as cooking sets and water containers, as well as thermal lined blankets for extra warmth.
Shane Revill, ShelterBox Supply Chain Manager, said: ‘Including the Flex 3 tents, winterisation kits and accompanying stoves in our itinerary of aid means that we are better prepared to help people who have been displaced from their homes in very cold climates. They are a great solution for a country like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where winters are long and temperatures stay below freezing for many months of the year.’
A ShelterBox response team made up of Alice Jefferson and Sam Hewett (both from the UK) recently travelled to the DPRK to help distribute the equipment and meet some of the people who have already benefitted from ShelterBox tents and supplies.
Alice said: ‘It was staggering to see how much damage had been caused to homes by a series of storms, making it incredibly difficult for people to start to make any repairs.
‘Now that families have somewhere warm to stay, they are prepared for the cold winter ahead and can focus on the task of rebuilding their homes.’
They met Ms. Sin Bok Sum from Rakrang District whose house was rendered uninhabitable by the recent storms. After receiving aid from ShelterBox, they said: ‘I have used the tent for several days now and it provides us with warm conditions while using the wood-stove to help us cook. My relatives and colleagues come to my tent as often as they can, saying that the tent is a really good house for our affected people.’
This gallery of images shows some of the damage caused to homes and buildings in the DPRK, as well as people who are now able to shelter from the cold thanks to ShelterBox.
View a great slideshow of the deployment here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shelterboxuk/sets/72157652591567393
ShelterBox has responded to the need for shelter in the DPRK, one of the world’s most insular nations several times before, establishing good working links within the country. In 2013, ShelterBox provided aid to people who had been hit by Typhoon Bolaven, which caused downpours to sweep across east and west coastal areas of the country, leaving around 51,600 hectares of land flooded, buried or washed away and more than 26,000 people displaced.