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Phil O'Kelly: I've seen disasters, but nothing like this horror

I have just arrived at the airport in Port-au-Prince to scenes I could never have imagined.

I can see injured people all over the airport. And while people have done great work cleaning up, there is broken glass all over the place.

Airport signs are hanging loose and the stench is horrific. The place is in a shambles. There are massive cracks and holes in the walls. It is truly terrible.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I have been in disaster zones before but I have ever experienced anything like this. I am very nervous about what faces me outside the gates.

I was very lucky as I got a chartered flight out of San Domingo. It was put on by a US company, Evergreen, for aid workers.

I have been in Burundi, Congo and in Niger where I was part of the Concern emergency response unit.

And two years ago I spent some time working in Haiti with the Concern project, but I have never seen anything like this.

I flew to San Domingo where I was involved in organising logistics for the Concern operation in Haiti.

My job now is to organise the distribution of food and water as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Right now we are getting vital aid to people, including emergency supplies of water, food and shelter as well as medical and hygiene packs.

We are supplying water to 50,000 people, providing tents and plastic sheeting to 25,000. We are getting 300 latrines and hygiene kits out to 15,000 people.

The quake has affected three million people -- a third of the population of Haiti. In the epicentre, 80-90pc of buildings are damaged.

Much of the infrastructure is in ruins including parliament, ministries, hospitals, schools and roads.

It is estimated that one to two million people will require shelter and emergency supplies.

Concern has 100 Haitian staff in Haiti, 57 in Port-au-Prince. One of our current staff and a former staff member have died. Two are still unaccounted for. Many of our staff have lost houses or loved ones.

We have already conducted rapid needs assessments of the worst affected areas, including 10 health centres where Concern was working.

Concern has carried out distribution of critical medical supplies, food and water to the State University Hospital. Distributions of pickaxes (to clear rubble), surgical gloves, disinfectant, water-purification tablets, water and first-aid supplies to community leaders in two Concern project areas.

We are working in two of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince, St Martin and Martissant where we had existing programmes.

We collected supplies of emergency supplies from our stores in Saut d'Eau and received some from Unicef in Port-au-Prince.

Phil O'Kelly, from Milltown, in Dublin works as a logistician with Concern Worldwide


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