the hundreds of dead is now well over a thousand, and there are worries over areas that haven't been reached yet. in the wee hours of monday morning (tomorrow for me now) we will have 4 expats arrive, and today we prepared our landcruisers, emergency kits, and logistics kits (food, flashlights, lifejackets etc etc). i rehired translators and medics from the emergency program we ran after the floods, and we called back the drivers from the project as well. our logco is getting himself back here from teknaf and tomorrow morning we have a coordinating meeting with some other agencies we will work with - by dawn tuesday the first land cruiser should pull out the gate.
i'm writing this now because i was so bad during the emergency project in august and just stopped writing. i figured better to write a boring little rather than nothing at all.
so today was quite busy. all this plus sending the nutritionist off to teknaf. the poor woman arrived at 8am this morning, and we had her on another plane by 4. we are doing a nutritional survey in tal, to recalibrate our numbers and get a better idea of what the needs are.
in terms of this post cyclone assessment, we will have 3 teams on the ground and we are truely in the assessment phase right now. msf has very specific intervention criterias when it comes to natural disasters. we only intervene if the local capacity is overwhelmed, or specific groups are not getting assistance, or if our beneficiaries are affected (and these folks are usually marginalised anyway, so it makes sense that we are responding). in many countries the emergency response is so limited, or spotty, that it can be crucial that we step in. in other cases, the disaster is just so bad that the regular programs can't cope. we ran the emergency diarrhea treatment centre this summer for that reason - the people who usually can deal with the large increase in diarrhea cases, the icddr,b, was dealing with increasing numbers that indicated their resources would soon be overwhelmed.
in this case the number of players on the ground is quite large, and we aren't sure if we will find medical needs, or more livilihood issues (which are quite serious nonetheless, many areas have lost all their buildings, food stocks, crops, etc). are people looking at only short term displacement, or will there be longer periods of crowded and unsuitable conditions (something that can lead to definite health problems). so i guess we just have to wait and see what we find yes?
now i go to sleep. perhaps more soon.