Two thousand hygiene kits unloaded in Yushu

China, April 28, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps  </span>
    The road through the mountains to Yushu. Photo: Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps  </span>
    The local team unloads the hygiene kits. Photo: Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps
  • 
  <span class="field-credit">
    Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps  </span>
    A child stands with the stacked hygiene kits. Photo: Liu Liangchuan/Mercy Corps

The truck full of 2,000 hygiene kits — covered with dust and mud — at last arrived in Yushu on the evening of April 26. Their journey from Chengdu, the capital of neighboring Sichuan Province, totaled 1,200 kilometers and 50 hours. They crossed over seven mountains of Qinghai and the Tibetan plateau, all of which are more than 4000 meters (13,100 feet) tall.

The next day, we worked together with a local partner (an organized team of local Tibetans and volunteers) to unload 2,000 hygiene kits into a storage space on the ground, as there is no warehouse big and safe enough to store such huge quantity of goods — almost all buildings here are damaged by the quake. So we have to put it just outside of the camps where they will be distributed.

About 15 people joined in this effort, including local partners, volunteers, drivers and even cooks. Almost all available manpower has been mobilized to do this work. They come from different corners of this world: Kandez, Chengdu, Lhasa, France and Sweden.

The earthquake has brought them together — each of them have their own job and life outside of this response. They are singers, writers, managers and professionals — but when needed, they are doing simple labor in a efficient way in a place at the roof of the world.

Hygiene kits were carefully covered by waterproof sheeting after they were unloaded. The local team made a check-in voucher after spot-checking the containers according to the list. Every detail showed professional, clear understanding of the warehousing procedures presenting in Yue Yao's training early last week.

We don’t want to put all 2,000 packages into distribution at the same time, as the survivors' camps are separate and in different corners of the town. It’s too difficult to invite all of the families to one spot — such a procedure would easily cause disorder and desperate fighting among people. So we decided to distribute 2,000 in a more organized manner — it will take a little more time, but will ensure that the goods make it into the hands of people with real need.

This is how we are doing things differently here in Yushu.