A March3rd article on the nzherald.co.nz website begins with this: "On the eighth day, there was wind and dust. In Dallington there is plenty of both, but Port-a-loos are much harder to find." Port-a-loo is what Americans call a Port-a-john, but no matter what you call them, the need for toilets in Christchurch following the 6.3-magnitude earthquake is severe.
There are a few toilets, but they are extremely hard to find. Meanwhile, Christchurch is enclosed in a cloud of dust whipped up by a hot, dry wind. The dust is coming from sewage-laden silt created by the liquefaction of soil during the quake, and it poses serious potential health concerns.
SPI president Bill Carteaux says plastics industry companies already have responded and about 4000 Port-a-loos are available. Funds are needed urgently to acquire and transport them to New Zealand. Carteaux discovered that commercial airfreight is very costly, so SPI is working with the U.S. State Dept. to arrange other transport.
To contribute, go to the website of SPI's Future of Plastics Foundation and click on the button marked "DONATE". Alternately, you can contact SPI's Susan Douglas by email or telephone at 202.974.5224.