Disaster isn’t a reality you can ignore — a fact that is becoming more and more obvious as we continue to see the effects of the flooding and rain on our clients, their crops, their family food security, and their overall well-being.
In addressing this reality, and in an attempt to prepare ourselves for the coming fight against its effects, TTL has officially begun efforts to start quantifying the destruction.
We have given our outreach teams a new “Water Damage Survey” that they will fill out for each client, detailing the condition of the road to the client’s village, the condition of the home, the outlook for the upcoming harvest and a variety of other associated factors.
During the next few weeks, we will compile the information from these forms into weekly reports of conditions here on the ground, as we are seeing them first-hand. We will then use those reports to shape our physical response to the emergency — whether that be in the form of bulked-up food packages, home repairs, or something else — when the time comes for such a response. That time, as we see it, will likely begin with what will inevitably be a devastating and insufficient harvest season, in late March.
Not that the problems haven’t already begun.
Just yesterday, one of our outreach teams returned with a client whose home in St. Martin is crumbling around his poor family. The rondavel’s walls are dripping with moisture, and large patterns of mold have formed in off-white blotches and blackened spots. The heavy rains are literally washing the home away. Mothofeela-Folomane is 15-months-old and just 5.4 kg, or just under 12 pounds.
He is now at the hospital, and after his stay there, he will come to the safe-home for a stint of recovery. But after that, we’re not sure whether his family will have a home for him to return to. This is one of the realities we will be trying to address with our water-damage forms and our associated response to what they tell us.
The next few months are going to be quite busy for TTL. Hopefully, we can put a dent in the destruction.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).