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Much storm damage

Written by Antje on April 27th 2015 21:37

Last week, our area has been hit by thunderstorms with short periods of very strong winds. The storm only lasted about 10-20 minutes, but the damage around the hospital and the surrounding area was enormous.

Below is a picture of the path that I usually walk from my home to the hospital.

Stormschade.jpg

The courtyard of the hospital, where people have room to sit around or hang their wash, was also hit badly. I noticed – how remarkable that was – that when there wasn’t enough clothesline available since branches had broken off and fallen across it – these very branches were used a clothesrack! The people here are very resilient!

Wasgoed op afgewaaide takken.jpg

The day after the storm, we receive word of the damage outside of the hospital area. Many of our coworkers had been up at night, because the roof of their house blew off, or because they were afraid their house might collapse. Many homes here have roofs of corrugated roofing sheets, attached between bamboo supports. When the wind gets underneath, the whole thing can just blow away. We heard stories of people who found their roof again after a long search, but also of people who even dredged the pond without success. And then people fought over who was the owner of the corrugated sheets they found. How do you recognize your own roof???

In the afternoon, I took a walk with a lady friend in the area. We had expected to see quite a lot of damage yet, but in the meantime people had already done very much. Roads and paths had been cleared again, most of the blown off roofs had been put back in place, although it was still a bit provisional. So I don’t have real pictures of the damage around the hospital.

The poorest people were again hit hardest in this disaster. Their homes are the least sturdy and they have the least reserve. Today, our hospital organized a workday for these folks, that provided more than the usual salary for them to help them recoup part of the damages.

Since my return here from the Netherlands, I have done many surgeries, some 20 patients altogether, especially children with deformities after serious burns. For some the results were excellent, but for others it was disappointing. I also operated on a few children with genetic intestinal defects, again with differing results. When seeing some of the disappointing results or serious complications, I have to remind myself that I do the best that I can in this setting and that most of my patients don’t have other options.

Blauwe sari.jpg