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Distribution of hygiene kits in Erftstadt-Blessem

27. July 2021 - Germany
150 aid packages with articles for personal hygiene and health care were distributed by arche noVa and its project partner ASB in Erftstadt-Blessem on the weekend. The aid reached the people after they returned to the heavily flooded village, which was then closed off for safety reasons.

Erftstadt-Blessem is one of the most affected places by the floods in Western Germany. Here, arche noVa participated in the distribution of relief goods on the weekend. Together with our partner organization ASB in the alliance Aktion Deutschland Hilft, 150 hygiene kits were distributed.

Portrait Stefanie Knörr

The people of Blessem are working flat out to free their homes from the masses of mud and to clear out everything. Furniture, clothing, electrical appliances - everything ends up soaked and destroyed on the street, where garbage trucks have begun to take away in rows.

Stefanie Knörr, Project Officer arche noVa

Relief supplies arrive

The majority of the villagers of Blessem are faced with nothing. Their village lies just a few meters next to a gravel pit that collapsed in the flood. The quarry edge in Blessem is one of the most photographed motives of the disaster. Some houses were swept into the depths, the rest were flooded by water and mud from the Erft. Because further landslides threatened, Blessem had to be evacuated. Last Thursday, the residents were allowed to return for the first time. Since then, the cleanup work has been in full swing.

Johanne Peter from ASB, with which arche noVa cooperates in the emergency aid, knows exactly what the people need now. She lives in the region and has been observing the situation on the ground from the beginning. It was therefore quickly decided that in addition to the prepared standard hygiene kits with soap, toothbrushes, disinfectants and FFP2 masks for personal hygiene, other materials would be distributed that were urgently needed. These included garbage bags, canisters of drinking water, gloves and diapers. As soon as the truck arrived, people picked up the packages directly from the loading area.

arche noVa project officer Stefanie Knörr is impressed by the people's commitment and will to rebuild:

There is an incredible solidarity, helpers come from all parts of the region, mostly on foot, because you can only drive into the village with permission. Everyone lends a hand and any support is gratefully accepted.

Construction dryers are ready

The distribution of additional hygiene packages is already planned and prepared. In total, this joint activity includes 700 packages. Besides relief goods, building dryers are currently in particular demand in Blessem and other affected places. arche noVa has prepared for this phase of help and purchased 20 devices even before the prices skyrocketed. Our team is currently determining where the demand for the devices is particularly high. In doing so, we attach great importance to good coordination with other aid organizations and institutions active in the flood area.

In the long term, our aid project will focus on reconstruction. The focus will be on non-profit institutions such as sports clubs or kindergartens.

We would like to thank you for the numerous donations that have already been received for our flood relief efforts and look forward to receiving further support. Because flood relief needs staying power.

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