Following the devastating explosion in Beirut on the 4 August 2020 37 Rotary clubs across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire responded positively. Thanks to their generosity and quick response we were able to release District designated funding and support Beirut.
Cosmopolitan to meet their target and submit a Global Grant bid in February 2021. The aim was to purchase essential equipment for the local Karentina Hospital.
Down payments for the equipment for the Paediatric Ward and Operating Theatre have been made to the local suppliers and the equipment has been purchased from the overseas manufacturers. With the exception of the Operating Table, the equipment has been freighted to Lebanon and for the large part is currently being stored at the local supplier warehouses, awaiting the completion of the restoration of the new wing of the hospital. There are also a few items that have been delivered to the hospital and are in storage. The operating table, the last item, is currently being freighted and is expected to arrive in Lebanon around mid-February.
As far as the restoration of the new wing of the Karantina Hospital is concerned, where the equipment will be finally located, the work is progressing quite well on the Paediatric Ward and Operating Theatre, but some time is still needed to finish works that are being undertaken. UNICEF have now taken over control of the restoration work which is a positive development. Work is expected to be completed by the end of February 2022 following which the equipment will be transferred to its final destination in the Paediatric Ward and Operating Theatre.
Over the last few months we have been working with the World Fire Aid, Rotarian Habib from the Rotary Club of Beirut Cosmopolitan and Rotarians Derek Housley along with Richard Galliford from the Rotary Club of Stainborough to source and send essential fire equipment over to Beirut. The equipment has been collected and stored in a temporary lockup. The first container was loaded in Northampton on the 10th February. Equipment sent included 5 traffic response kits worth around £10,000; 200 full sets of personal protection wear including fire proof trousers, jackets, helmets, boots and gloves worth around £60,000 and 3 new thermal imaging cameras worth £15,000.
The assignment left the depot late afternoon on its way to Southampton ready for shipment to Beirut. It should arrive in Beirut in March 2022 where it will be met by Habib and transported to the local fire station.
Once this assignment arrives safely, we are planning to raise further funds to send 2 fire engines completed with PPE equipment on board as well as essential breathing apparatus. The estimated costs are £3,000 per fire appliance plus £7,000 to send trainers. In total we will be looking at raising £13,000. Anything above this means we can send more equipment and train more people. Trainers will pay their own insurance and food whilst in Lebanon.
Claire and Mike from Fire Aid are planning a fundraising abseil event on Saturday the 23rd April from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London. If anyone would like to donate towards the event, they can do so by following this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-hoyland4 - any donation (however small) is most welcome and very much appreciated.
Based on our successful work with Beirut, we have been approached by Fire Aid to look at the possibilities of Rotary forming a partnership, so that we can support their essential work at getting essential fire equipment to countries in need across the world. As a District we have agreed we will pursue this option and look at what the partnership would entail. More on this later.
District 1040 International Lead
18th February 2022
An opportunity to read more background: Karantina Hospital, Beirut - a story of hope - Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (rotarygbi.org)