“July 2023 was the hottest month in recorded history by a wide margin – and perhaps it’s time that we sent a disaster condolence letter to our ailing planet,” they wrote. “But this is not a message of defeat and despair. The Rotary world has stepped up in this time of crisis to offer immediate relief.” – Rotary International President R. Gordon R. McInally and Trustee Chair Barry Rassin
“The anomalously high temperatures during this year’s summer, which broke records in several places, would have been highly unlikely in a world without climate change.” – Mariam Zachariah, Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College, London
So how is Rotary responding?
- In Hawaii, where at least 111 people have died and more than 1,000 are still missing following devastating wildfires in Hawaii, Rotary is collecting donations to support recovery and provide aid to those affected;
- In Greece, three successive heat waves led to deadly wildfires, killing at least five people and on the island of Rhodes more than 20,000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate. Rotarians replaced heat-damaged fire hoses and donated gloves, masks, shovels and backpack sprayers. Others helped set up shelters, transported people, provided beds, linens, toiletries, food, medicine, and baby food. Club members who are doctors and social workers donated their services;
- In Pakistan, recovering from massive flooding that killed at least 1,700 people and left millions homeless, flash flooding this year has already led to the deaths of about 200 people. Rotarians erected shelters, upgraded water and sanitation systems, and improved health and hygiene facilities for about 200 families in two villages with plans to expand to six more locations;
- In Korea, heavy rains and landslides in July killed at least 47 people and left more than 10,000 homeless. Local Rotarians responded by visiting damaged homes, removing furniture and household items, cleaning the homes, and clearing away piles of dirt outside. Others cleaned up a restaurant that had been buried in silt;
- In Algeria, where intense wildfires erupted across a wide area, Rotarians took charge of the 800 inhabitants of a landlocked village which had been totally ravaged by the flames. Club members distributed food and hygiene products, donated blankets, heaters, and sewing machines, then taught the residents how to use them;
- Read about more at: https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/disaster-response.
How will your district and clubs respond to disasters?