A Red Cross Emergency Response Unit, which responds to conflicts, natural disasters and helps those in crisis, arrived on the island on 13 September. Guillaume, who is based in RSK’s office in Aix-en-Provence, France, was part of the third-wave team and arrived on 12 October. He spent three weeks working with the island’s authorities, civil security and local communities to help rebuild the damaged facilities.
A primary concern was the damaged water network that could no longer supply clean water for residents’ cooking and sanitation facilities. As part of the rebuilding operation, the Red Cross set up 12 water points across the island to provide clean water for the local communities. Guillaume was involved in monitoring the water levels, assessing the water quality and ensuring maintenance of the water tanks. This work ranged from replacing leaking water points to limiting the risks from mosquitoes and rats near the water supply, which had become increasing health issues in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Guillaume (right) with Red Cross representatives surveying the water levels at the tanks.
Guillaume also helped the Red Cross to make vital progress on the water network by working with the local water company and other environmental organisations to fix the plumbing in the central towns, including in the local schools.
Guillaume (right) meeting with the Veolia Foundation, an organisation that supports community projects around the world, to discuss the plumbing work for schools.
Guillaume then spent time with community leaders teaching them about the water point equipment and training a local volunteer to take over the water point maintenance. The team also engaged with local residents to establish the immediate impact of the hurricane and passed this information on to the authorities to help address the most prominent community needs.
Guillaume (right) training a local volunteer.
The Red Cross intervention established good potable water facilities across the island and stable water points that are now connected to the town networks.
RSK is very proud to have supported Guillaume’s involvement with this vital relief work by enabling him to adjust his work commitments throughout his deployment. This essential environmental work reflects RSK’s commitment to supporting local communities, both nationally and internationally, and its group-wide fundraising for WaterAid, which provides access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation facilities to those in need.