ShelterBox may have a special role helping farmers to stay on damaged farms and vineyards in Italy’s earthquake zone

ShelterBox team in Italy

 

The Italy earthquake zone now marred with broken buildings and damaged roads is, in happier times, one of the world’s richest agricultural areas. But this rural economy is now in shock, and farmers need to stay on their farms even where homes are damaged. ShelterBox is in talks offering help  

The Confederazione Italiana del Agricultura recognizes the hilly landscape shaken by massive quakes and tremors this week as one of the world’s showpieces for agriculture, food and wine.

Amatrice, its ancient buildings now mostly in ruins, is regarded as the seat of the Italian food agricultural industry, and is home to the ‘Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park’ where many unique species are protected.

While the focus has been on damage and casualties in towns and villages, there is widespread concern that farmers may have to leave their fields, vineyards and livestock unattended because they have nowhere to shelter since the quake.

International disaster relief agency ShelterBox has been in talks today with the Confederazione Italiana del Agricultura about a solution. Once the Confederazione has examined the need across hundreds of smallholdings and farms, the door is open for ShelterBox to return to help farmers recover and rebuild.

ShelterBoxes – easily portable and ideal for delivery to inaccessible locations – may provide the ideal temporary solution. Each has a hardy tent for properties left without shelter in the forthcoming autumn and winter, solar lighting where power is down, and water filtration where pipes and sources have been damaged and drinking water has been compromised.

ShelterBox Operations Co-ordinator Jon Berg says, ‘At the moment we have found an over-provision of tented shelter in the quake zone, and much aid stock may well be sent back. ShelterBox does not yet have any inbound aid, but this conversation today with the Confederazione raises the possibility that ShelterBoxes may meet a very specific longer term need, helping Italian farmers and the rural economy to recover.’

The network of agricultural workers is mostly in remote settlements and on individual homesteads which have less access to assistance than village and town dwellers. At the moment it is reported that much of the displaced population are staying with friends, family, or in their cars parked in front of their homes – not only because of personal attachment, but to guard against looting of their possessions.

ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Phil Duloy is shown the damaged region

Also characteristic of this area is holiday home ownership by people who work and live in Rome for most of the year. ‘Agri-tourism’ properties are common here. The area is noted for its olive groves, grapes, even tobacco. Unique species of wild orchids are also found.

ShelterBox has had a team of three based in Rieti, and there is continuing support and contact with its Milan-based affiliate and with local Rotarians.

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

Watch ShelterBox on CNN here: CNN

ShelterBox sends team to Italy following 6.2 quake southeast of Perugia

Italian rescue worker with search dog in Perugia, Italy

 

A severe earthquake at 1:36 am GMT struck south-east of the Italian city of Perugia last night, killing at least 21, with an unknown number trapped beneath rubble in several villages. This was a shallow quake in a mountainous area, with tremors felt as far away as Rome

International disaster relief agency ShelterBox, based in the UK but with an affiliate organisation in Milan, is sending a team within 24 hours to the remote mountainous area of Italy that suffered a major quake and a series of tremors during last night.

ShelterBox Operations Co-ordinaror Phil Duloy is heading up initial assessment work, and is now making contact with local and government officials in Italy, with ShelterBox’s Rotary and affiliate colleagues, and with partner disaster relief organisations including the Red Cross.

If emergency or temporary shelter is needed for families and individuals made homeless in the disaster, ShelterBox has adequate supplies of tents and other equipment standing by in the UK and at other sites across Europe.

In recent years ShelterBox has deployed to Italian earthquakes twice. In 2012 it supplied 132 tents following a 6.0 quake, and in 2009 in Abruzzo when over 300 people died in a 6.3 quake the charity deployed 294 ShelterBoxes.

Early morning with frost still on the ground, local volunteers from Assergi, a small m ountain village North of Rome, erect Shelterbox tents. The villagers are too scared of further quakes to sleep in their homes and many have spent their second, cold night in their cars.

Early morning with frost still on the ground, local volunteers from Assergi, a small mountain village North of Rome, erect Shelterbox tents. The villagers are too scared of further quakes to sleep in their homes and many have spent their second, cold night in their cars. ©Mike Greenslade/ShelterBox 2009

You can help ShelterBox’s disaster relief efforts in Italy and elsewhere by donating to the ‘ShelterBox Solution’ here: PLEASE DONATE