HUNDREDS of families badly affected by the disastrous earthquake in Haiti last year will be able to receive clean, safe drinking water thanks to a grant of £25,000 from Dorset Freemasons.

At least 650,000 people across Haiti are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, following the earthquake on August 14, 2021.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake was centred 12km northeast of the town of Saint-Louis du Sud.

It is the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 2010, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and the third major earthquake to hit the country in the past decade.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency by providing support to the Red Cross Movement’s work.

Dorset Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Head of Dorset Freemasons, Graham Glazier said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work in Haiti. Tens of thousands of people are in desperate need of help and there’s nothing more important than clean water after a disaster like this. I’m proud the Freemasons are keeping up our proud record of helping people around the world when disaster strikes.”

Through their donations, the Red Cross are able to distribute relief goods, ensure good water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent the outbreak of diseases as well as provide access to healthcare to those most in need.

Alongside improving access to clean water, the Red Cross has reached over 40,000 people with blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen kits and hygiene kits to provide essential shelter and hygiene support.

Head of Emergencies, Surge and Technical Advisory at the Red Cross Luke Tredget said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti.

“Providing clean water is one of the absolutely essential steps to prevent the spread of cholera and other deadly water-borne disease, which can have a devastating effect, especially on children and other vulnerable people.”