Xavier Typhoon Update #9

May 3, 2015

Friday, May 1st, I attended the 8:30 am Disaster Coordinating Office (DCO) meeting in town. There were representatives from the FSM government, Chuuk State, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Red Cross, Chuuk Public Utility Corporation (CPUC), Chuuk Department of Health, and the LDS Church.

 

IOM is coordinating the support efforts of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Chuuk. They are committed to partnering with Chuuk government to empower them to take ownership of this process. When asked to say a few words after the IOM presentation Ambassador Takesy said, “this is about humanity and those in need…. this offers us an opportunity to de-politicize the process and work to help those in need.” I was able to thank the Ambassador in person for his support of our relief efforts at Xavier. He spoke fondly of his lunch in San Francisco with Xavier board member, Bob Scavullo.

 

From the outset IOM has been coordinating with the government to address the immediate food, water, safety and sanitation needs created immediately post Maysak. They are currently implementing a new electronic registration system using tablets with geotracking capabilities to photograph and survey those requesting housing assistance. This will replace the paper based, subjective data collection system previously used here with a more objective, third party decision maker system. Information collected here will be electronically sent to engineers in the US who will determine whether a structure is one with minor damage, major damage, or fully destroyed. IOM feels that this system will allow for aid to get to those in most need while limiting opportunities for profiteering. IOM will only offer household aid to repair areas deemed “main sleeping areas.” They reported to me that they heard early on of our providing potable water to the people of Sapuk with need from the million-gallon tank and are grateful.

 

It was clear at the meeting that those most in need reside on the outer islands and IOM data collection will most likely begin there. I have asked our maintenance supervisor to begin a construction needs list for our workers and Sapuk neighbors and our principal, Martin Carl, will compile needs from our host families. We continue to be committed to helping meeting their needs as best we can

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