Current Project: New Zealand
Within six hours of the 6.3 earthquake that struck New Zealand on February 22, 2011, Global DIRT assembled and deployed an assessment team to Christchurch. Upon arrival in New Zealand, the Global DIRT team established a contact with the New Zealand Red Cross and Civil Defense Agency. A team was then dispatched to Christchurch along with a 20,000 liter per day water filter to implement wherever it deemed necessary. The team conducted assessments of East Christchurch to verify points that had been crowd-mapped on USHAHIDI. It was at this point that Global DIRT learned about the efforts of the magnificent Student Volunteer Army (SVA).
The Global DIRT Team in New Zealand decided its relief efforts would best serve New Zealand if it worked alongside the Student Volunteer Army. Global DIRT then met up with the Student Volunteer Army and pledged water resources and its own manpower. Global DIRT then assisted in the removal of liquefaction and rubble across the New Brighton area. With the assistance of two Belgian and one Swedish traveler, as well as one local Kiwi guide, the new, modified DIRT team went house to house to assist in the general recovery effort.
The Global DIRT team remained for 2 weeks after the earthquake, helping with daily removal of liquefaction and rubble. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our resilient friends in New Zealand who are continuing to rebuild.