Going to earthquake ravaged Malawi was a long time coming for Scotty Robinson.
The owner of European Autowerks in Carlsborg stayed two weeks in the Karonga District of Malawi, Africa, distributing 200 ShelterBoxes — relief kits with shelter and supplies that can support up to 10 people. The box contents are tailored to the area, such as tents with ultra-violet ray protection for Africa.
Three earthquakes each measured about 6.0 on the Richter scale hit late in December, killing three persons, destroying homes and displacing tens of thousands of people.
“I grew up in Texas and saw a lot of the efforts to repair hurricane devastation,” Robinson said.
“I lived without power and water for two weeks, and it was one of the worst times of my life.”
Robinson said homes either collapsed or were severely cracked and unsafe to live in.
Homeowners cemented their brick houses with mud, which resulted in many collapses.
Concrete, mortar and rebar were nonexistent there, Robinson said.
Many people took roofs off houses to make temporary shelters because they had neither money nor resources to rebuild.
Malawi is the fourth-poorest country in the world, with an average life expectancy of about 44. “These people have nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Robinson said.
His group completed box distribution five days early so they helped the Tanzanian Red Cross to relocate homeless residents.
Robinson recently graduated from ShelterBox Response Team training to become one of 155 team members worldwide.
ShelterBox is a international disaster relief charity project supported by Rotary Clubs.
More information can be found at www.shelterboxusa.org or by calling local representative Jim Pickett at 670-6506.