Apr/May 2008

Earthquake Relief

On May 12, 2008 at 2:28 in the afternoon Beijing time, Sichuan province experienced an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale.  The epicenter of the quake was near Wenchuan county in Aba Prefecture, about 270 kilometers away from Hanyuan as the crow flies.  Hanyuan was affected by the quake, with 70% of the county town’s buildings now unliveable (30% collapsed, and 40% condemned).  In the whole county there are now approximately 43,000 inhabitants with no home to return to, 18 have died, and  over 500 were injured. As a local charity organization, DORS took initiative to contribute to the earthquake relief effort.

Due to receiving the care and support of many friends domestically and internationally, especially the strong support of DORS’ trustees in England who collected many funds for the relief effort, DORS received much to start the relief work.  The funds will all be used on local relief work and reconstruction.  For a detailed description of materials and funds received, please see the DORS website: www.dors.org.uk.  Besides this, DORS used 50,000 Renminbi of formerly received contributions to contribute to the government relief effort, in order for Hanyuan citizens to understand that in this very unique moment, DORS as an organization, and every staffmember, is in solidarity with them.  For an extensive discussion of this decision also see our website.

Up to May 29, DORS altogether received approximately 31,000 Renminbi worth of relief supplies, and financial contributions of 65,000 yuan, and for details see below:

Newmind Internet Consulting Service Company donated 2500 English pounds (37,500 Renminbi).  The initiators of the donation were two managers at Newmind, Richard Anderson and Richard Veal, one of whom volunteered at DORS 1996-1999 and the other being a DORS trustee.

Ya’an Christian Church donated materials worth approx. 10,000 Renminbi.  Materials include:  tents, foldable beds, quilts, clothes and other relief necessities.

Mr. Patrick Wood donated materials worth approx. 21,000 Renminbi.  Materials included: 10 army tents, 30 quilts.

An English website CharityGiving.co.uk donated at last count 1,500 English poundsi22,500 Renminbij Donations have come from friends in various parts of the world.

Beijing National Observatory Pr. Deng Licai and friends donated 5400 RMB. 

Starting from the third day after the earthquake, DORS staff put their all into the earthquake relief work.  The work done includes: interviewing individuals and families affected by the quake, distinguishing their vital needs, distributing supplies, planning the total DORS relief work, etc.  Up to May 30th, DORS had interviewed 37 families, given 12 families beds, blankets, tent, and/or clothes depending on need, and distributed 6,200 yuan in flexible living expenses funds to 14 households.  At present, DORS is mainly involved in the earthquake recovery effort, and other work is temporarily stopped.

The following Projects News is a summary of the work DORS did in this newsletter period up to the point of the earthquake.

Hanyuan County Fuel-Efficient Stoves Project

From April to May, DORS continued to implement fuel-efficient stoves projects in Chenhe, Wanlin, Shiquan, and Wanjia villages.  Of these Chenhe village and Wanlin village’s demonstration fuel-efficient stoves are finished.  The villagers are satisfied, and as if by prior agreement, told us the new stoves save fuel and time, are artistic and clean.  In two villages DORS constructed 5 stoves each, trained three technicians, and through demonstration projects, the technicians can all construct stoves independently.  Chenhe village’s Lan Guojian, especially, has his own opinions on the shape of construction, and turns out creative ones, which has attracted neighboring villages’ villagers to come and inspect them.

Shiquan is already working on the second batch of stoves—after doing 7 demonstration stoves, 9 villagers registered to participate in the project, and the project is presently underway. 

Wanlin village is one of the most prolific constructors of fuel-efficient stoves among DORS’project villages, and now they’re already on their third round.  The last two rounds together amounted to 55 stoves constructed—the villagers’ interest is extrememly high, and they ask us to continue supporting.  This round will construct another 53 stoves.  At present the project is in progress.

Shiquan Village
Grain Grinder

In March DORS staff went to Shiquan Village to discuss the use and management/maintenance regulations with the villagers.  DORS’ Bai Shihai, out of consideration for the sustainability of the project, recommended that the villagers prepare the funds for repairing and even buying a new grain grinder if it breaks, beforehand, and the villagers eagerly accepted the idea.  In April, DORS bought the machine for the villagers and had it delivered to the village, along with the flour-receiving attachment, and the total cost for the project was 1420 yuan.  The project contract has been signed, and there is a person assigned specially to repair and maintain the machine. (Picture on previous page is Shiquan’s old machine, which is now broken.)

Wanlin Village
Hamlets 1-3 Water Supply Project

After receiving the correct information on each hamlet’s required pipe lengths, in the middle of April, we once again went to the village, inspecting the situation prior to installation of the water pipes, for example:  had the channels for the pipes been dug well, were they deep enough, etc.  We signed a contract with the villagers, and received their guarantee fees and project contributions of altogether 7,610 yuan.  It is estimated that DORS’contribution on this project will be 25,753.45 yuan.
DORS’ Bai Shihai surveyed the length of the trenches for the water pipes on the spot, checking the accuracy of the information provided by the villagers.  Usually if the preparatory work is not done well, DORS stops and does not continue to work on the project for the time being.  We are very happy the project is going forward smoothly, and the digging trenches phase has given way to the installation phase.

Maping Village
Raising Organic Chickens Project

After thorough surveying and preparatory work, DORS prepared to provide funds, related technical support and information on market tendencies in order to enhance the scientific raising of the chickens.  This should increase villagers’ income.  The project period is two years.  The first year will be for a few households to initiate a pilot project, and through observation, training, experimentation, etc. to increase the scientificity of the raising and the knowledge that will help prevent and heal diseases.  Besides this, we encourage villagers to try raising the chickens organically, which will reduce their outlay on inputs to the project, and the scale of the project is not large.  If the results are good in the first few years, we will continue to provide the abovementioned support (funds, technical support and training) to the villagers that have enough confidence and good technique.  We think this will help them face market risks, and receive decided profit.
Presently there are 6 households participating in this project,and after considering the fact that in future chicken-raising the villagers will put in more capital independently, the agreed DORS contribution is 65%, villager contribution 35%.  Discussion also determined both sides’ duties and reponsibilities. Villagers will work with our chosen breed of chicken and project implementation schedule, but will be in charge of the purchase of the chicks, prevention of illness and sale.  DORS is in charge of general oversight and support.  

DORS News and Information

After the May 12 Wenchuan Earthquake, the whole country mourns, but we find our priorities somewhat reordered and are grateful for life.  Thank you so much for supporting us, especially for your care—we hope so much to be your hands and feet in one of the (happily partially) affected areas of China.





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