Saturday, February 02, 2008

China Weather Conditions are Serious

This is from Half the Sky:

We’re still trying to get through to a few orphanages. We’ll provide information regarding those and other orphanages needing help just as soon as we have it. In general the needs are for fuel, food, disposable diapers, warm clothing and bedding. Prices are soaring because no goods can be shipped and cold weather has destroyed all winter crops. Half theSky is responding to the emergency by getting funds directly to the institutions in a variety of ways.
Beihai, Guangxi – Although ill-prepared for the bitter cold, the institution has so far managed to keep the children warm and fed.
Changzhou, Jiangsu – suffered the largest snowfall in Jiangsu Province. Several buildings have collapsed. But the institution rushed to preparefor the cold and the children are fine.
Chengdu, Sichuan – is experiencing the coldest winter in memory. They need a large room heater, diapers, shoes, socks and winter jackets.
Chenzhou, Hunan – still facing the most difficulties of the orphanages we’ve reached. They’ve had no electricity or running water for 8 days andthere is almost no possibility that power will be restored before NewYear’s Eve (the 6th of February.) Because of the blackout, the hospital is closed. 20 children are ill and being cared for by institution staff as well as they can. The banks are closed so staff is contributing personal funds to buy food, coal and diapers. Prices are skyrocketing as all roads to Chenzhou remain impassable.
Chongqing – warm and well, despite the terrible cold
Chuzhou, Anhui - has both water and power. Only public transportation has failed. HTS nannies and teachers are walking to work. They are leaving home extra early to be there for the children.
Fuzhou, Jiangxi - lost power for a few days but now it is back to normal.The snow stopped a couple of days ago but now is falling again. The directors and HTS staff have gathered all the children into one big room to keep them warm. They’ve bought New Years clothes for the children and will have a party no matter how bad the weather. This year, however, the foster parents will stay home to keep the children safe. The institution has enough food and water. They want us to focus on those in more serious trouble and ask us please not to worry.
Gaoyou, Jiangsu – Despite incredibly heavy snow, the children are warm and well.
Guangzhou, Guangdong – This city is truly unaccustomed to cold and it is getting more difficult to find necessities to keep children warm. Theyask for 30 space heaters and warm bedding.
Guilin, Guangxi - has two broken HTS heater/air conditioners in the Infant Nurture rooms and they’ve asked us to replace. The rooms are very,very cold. They ask for more soft matting for the floors and also snowboots for our HTS nannies who’ve been slipping and falling in the ice and snow as they come to work. They are so ill-equipped to handle severeweather.
Guiyang, Guizhou – no report yet.
Haikou, Haikou – Even sunny Hainan Island is experiencing a chill. The orphanage request a clothes dryer to keep the children in clean warm clothes.
Hefei, Anhui – reports that they have everything under control and the children are warm and well-fed.
Huangshi, Hubei – is in desperate need of disposable diapers. They ask for funds to purchase since goods can’t be sent to them right now. All heater/air conditioners have stopped functioning. They need quilts andwarm clothes for the children. Several HTS nannies have fallen on the ice on their way to work and they need medicine to treat cuts and bruises.
Jiujiang, Jiangxi – had another heavy snow storm last night. Pipes haveburst and the five boilers are broken. They are unable to bathe the children and are having trouble keeping them warm. They need quilts, bedding, warm shoes and space heaters. They need medicine for infant coughs and colds.
Lianyungang, Jiangsu – is doing the best they can despite the lowest temperatures in history. While they still insist we help others first,they do request winter jackets for the children, warm mats to cover the floor and bottles for babies with cleft lip/palate. The last item we’ll have to ship from Beijing as soon as we are able.
Luoyang, Henan – all is well. They are accustomed to the cold.
Maoming, Guangdong - no report yet
Maonan District, Maoming, Guangdong – In the sunny south, they have never seen this kind of cold and damp weather before. It’s been a month with another month in the forecast. They need space heaters. Local citizens have donated warm clothes and blankets for the children. Nanchang, Jiangxi – asks for warm floor mats and disposable diapers. They need a working room heater. Their electrical supply has been sporadic andwith only a small generator, they’re not confident they can continue to provide heat to keep the children warm.
Nanjing, Jiangsu – continues to manage, despite the heavy snows. Theywould like 200 children’s blankets but insist that we look after others with greater needs first.
Nanning, Guangxi – is experiencing its worst winter in 48 years. They are doing their best to weather the storm but could use 6 large space heaters, 86 warm quilts for our Family Village and disposable diapers. Like many places, they are having trouble finding affordable food right now and would appreciate a subsidy to help through this difficult time.
Qingyuan, Guangdong – no report yet.
Sanya, Hainan – all is well in this southernmost tip of China.
Shaoguan, Guangdong – needs disposable diapers for 27 babies. They need 3large room heaters and warm mats for the floors.
Shaoyang, Hunan - has seen heavy snow every day for 20 days. There is sufficient water and, for the moment, there is power, so the children are warm. However, 5 of 6 power poles have been downed by weather. Only one stands and the institution fears it will fall as well, leaving them without electricity. Much of the rest of the city is already dark. Children and caregivers continue to work and play together. High school students are cramming for exams and trying to ignore the cold. Everyone prays that the power pole will continue to stand.
Wuhan, Hubei – is having a very hard time finding affordable food, “even cabbage.” They ask for food subsidies for the Family Village, 20 spaceheaters and 50 warm quilts. Heaters are working but there is no water for bathing. The local community has offered to take children in for the Chinese New Year and the institution feels this may be the best decision to keep them safe, so their requests are only for the Family Village.
Wuzhou, Guangdong – is enduring bitter cold. They need warm mats for the floors, disposable diapers, warm clothes and shoes for the children.
Xiangtan, Hunan - has had snow for the past 10 days. The main water pipe is “broken again.” There is no water for cooking right now but they do have electricity, coal and blankets. They are still able to buy food but prices have gone way up. Not all of the HTS nannies can get to work everyday. They are keeping the programs going as well as they can and make sure that at least five nurturing nannies are there with the babies everyday, along with the institution’s caregivers.
Xinyang, Henan – is accustomed to the cold and all is well.
Yibin, Sichuan – no report yet.
Yiyang, Hunan – still has electricity but the water has been shutting off and on. They have stockpiled food for the children. The greatest challenge is for the nannies to get to work. Because the buses are down,they must walk on icy roads.
Yueyang, Hunan - also has no electricity. The one functioning power generator is being used in the children’s dormitory. They are relying on coal heat but the price has tripled in recent days. They are running out of food and have applied to the local Bureau of Civil Affairs for funds to buy more. Our HTS nannies have been walking for hours to get to work, often slipping on the ice, “even though they try to be cautious.”

To contribute to Half the Sky’s Little Mouse Emergency Fund to meet these emergency needs and others, click here: Half the Sky.

3 comments:

Andrea said...

Courtney,
We will be posting this to our waiting families and on our website forum as well. God Bless, and be safe, Andrea

Robin said...

Oh Courtney...I have been reading your blog and just can't stop crying! So moved...excited for you guys and frustrated when I read this last post. We are so oblivious here in the US. Just oblivious... Thinking of you and can't wait to meet Elyza. Much love and warmest regards, Robin

Maggie said...

I had no idea conditions were so bad. Its heartbreaking. I visited the website link you posted and made a donation but I wish I could do more. Take care and travel safe.