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Land Rovers on Mercy Ship

The Mercy Ship Anastasia on a visit to South Africa is currently docked in East London and will be at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town from 9-25 September 2005.

Olly Peet the transportation manager made contact with LandyOnline shortly before setting sail from Liberia to East London, "Greetings from the Mercy Ship Anastasis, currently docked in Monrovia, Liberia. Today we set sail for a 2 week journey to East London, the home of Landyonline I believe. We have 14 Land Rovers on the ship, which will be unloaded and driven in the East London area, and which will need many spare parts and services during the 3 months whilst the Anastasis is in shipyard. We have just spent 8 months on the potholed roads of Liberia and Benin, and our vehicles are beginning to show the wear and tear."

The 350 strong crew of the Anastasis rely heavily on the 20 vehicles that sail with the ship, 14 of which are Land Rovers. Without these vehicles, the crew would be unable to travel from the ship to do many tasks, which range from bringing food to the ship, to taking patients home after surgery.

Mercy Ships is an international charity which serves the poorest of the poor in the developing world. Operating a fleet of hospital ships, Mercy Ships works to serve the dire needs of the local population. In addition to the thousands of free, specialized surgeries offered onboard the ships, community development projects take place in the surrounding villages in collaboration with local partners. These sustainable programs target areas of construction, health education, water and sanitation education and agricultural training.

From March to June 2005 and from November 2005 to June 2006, the Mercy Ship Anastasis will be working in the war-torn country of Liberia, one of the poorest countries in the world. Here, the Anastasis will implement many programs to address the medical, physical and spiritual needs of the population.

 

The Mercy Ship Land Rovers

Why Land Rovers?

The 20 vehicles currently used alongside the Anastasis are as follows:

- 14 Land Rovers;
- 2 Toyota Venturas;
- 1 Opel Astra;
- 1 Jeep Cherokee;
- 1 Nissan truck;
- 1 Volkswagon truck.

Land Rovers are suitable vehicles for a variety of reasons;

  • They meet the basic requirements of having constant four wheel drive, additional low gears and a differential-lock for bad road conditions, and a raised air intake system to reduce the amount of water and dust that passes into the engine
  • They are excellent vehicles for driving in Africa, both on and off road
  • They are rugged, hard to damage, and easy to repair, which is an important factor with over 100 ship drivers of various abilities
  • They have a payload of 2 tons. This equates to 10 crew members and a fully loaded roof rack
  • They are tough and durable. They are constructed on a steel chassis and frame, with an aluminium skin that cannot rust, which is ideal in a marine environment
  • They are relatively simple in design, with no reliance on complicated computer based engine-diagnostic equipment
  • They are easily maintained, serviced and repaired by local mechanics and volunteer crew alike
  • Their spare parts are relatively inexpensive and easily obtained, even in West Africa
  • The Anastasis has a wealth of donated Land Rover spare parts in stock, which keeps maintenance costs and annual procurement costs to a minimum.

This proposal is seeking funds to purchase additional Land Rovers, which will be used to replace the fleet's oldest and least reliable vehicles.

Current vehicle usage

Over 100 authorised drivers use the 20 ship vehicles almost solidly from 8am to 11pm every day, for program related activities, for church, and for recreational activities.

In Liberia, as well as every other West African country we visit, Mercy Ships programs rely heavily upon Land Rovers. The effectiveness of the following programs would be significantly compromised without them:

- The Dental Clinic;
- Community Development construction projects;
- Post-operative care visits;
- Palliative care visits;
- Aids/HIV education program;
- Adult Basic Education program;
- Child Development program;
- Orphanage ministries program ("Mercy Ministries");
- Prison ministries program ("Mercy Ministries");
- Christian education program ("The Alpha Course");
- Ship discipler's program;
- Discipleship school program ("Segue").

Additionally, many ship departments rely on Land Rovers to deliver and pick up heavy supplies from both around town and from inaccessible areas out of town, where normal vehicles would not be able to travel. These departments include the Food Services department, the Engineering department, the Transportation department and the Deck department

Land Rovers are vital in the performance of each of the above mentioned programs and departments. In every instance, they are relied upon to safely provide transportation to often remote and inaccessible areas, for up to 10 passengers consisting of crew members, translators, patients and family members, and large and heavy amounts of equipment.

Financial considerations

The following prices represent the nature of the four wheel drive market as at the end of May 2005:

10 seater Land Rover 110 Defender - $38,000
9 seater Toyota Land Cruiser Station Wagon - $40,000
13 seater Toyota Land Cruiser Hardtop - $40,000
5 seater Nissan Terrano $42,000

It would cost around $800 to ship a Land Rover from the UK to Monrovia.

Conclusion

This project is fully reliant upon the financial support it seeks, and cannot be progressed further without money. Thank you for taking the time to read this proposal.

For further information on the project, the ship's transportation needs, or any technical queries or concerns, please contact the writer, Olly Peet, by email: peeto@mercyships.org, or by phone on (001) 954 538 4239 or (001) 954 538 4258.

 

 

 

 

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