Written by Logan Stein
Regina resident David Whitrow is a long way from home.
He has been on the ground in Honduras providing disaster relief for locals since Nov. 20., following Hurricane Eta and Iota’s devastation through Central-America.
This is Whitrow’s fourth disaster deployment since 2017. He says with everything going on in the world, it’s more important than ever to provide support for people who need it most.
“These people are in some tough situations, and we get to do our part to help,” Whitrow said. “The need is so huge, every person that we help give clean water to or give some food to, or a tarp to live under, is something that they wouldn’t have to begin with.
“Our efforts are definitely needed right now.”
Whitrow is the only person from Saskatchewan in his deployment of around 40 people. Most of the volunteers are from the United States.
Hurricane Eta battered the central-American country, followed by hurricane Iota not long after. Millions of people have been impacted by both storms, with significant damage around the country.
“A lot of clinics and things like that were destroyed in the storm, so having access to health care has been a real struggle for people,” he said. “COVID has made it more challenging as well.”
“We are doing more to adhere to COVID protocols, we try to stay in smaller groups, socially distance whenever possible, there’s always a mask on our faces. It adds another obstacle to overcome.”
Whitrow is providing medical attention, distributing non-perishable items, tarps to provide people with shelter, hygiene kits and clean water to locals in San Pedro Sula, one of the country’s main transport hubs.
“We do a lot of water treatment stuff, we have what are called sawyer filters. They allow a family to filter their own water and turn it from a dirty mess to something that’s clean, healthy and safe for them,” he said. “The last thing these people need is further health issues because of drinking bad water.”
Whitrow arrived on Nov. 20, shortly after Hurricane Iota. He is scheduled to return home to Regina on Dec. 9.
“I just kind of live my life in a way that if I can help, I will. That’s my motivation in all of this, I just want to give back after I’ve been so abundantly blessed,” Whitrow claimed. “I take as much from these opportunities as the people that I get to help.
“At the end of the day, if my little bit of sweat is going to be the difference between if someone eats or not, then why wouldn’t I?”
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