Dartmouth Rotary has come to the aid of people hit by devastating disasters in North Africa.

As well as sending money from its Disaster Relief Fund, 14 Rotarians also raised more than £1,100 in a Dartmouth street collection to help those in stricken Morocco and Libya.

The money will help survivors of Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in more than 60 years. Many are without food, water, electricity and shelter in the High Atlas Mountains.

Buildings, hospitals, schools and homes have also been swept away by catastrophic flooding in the city of Derna, in Libya, which caused two dams to collapse, killing thousands.

Peter Goldstraw, Dartmouth Rotary’s International Officer, said: “It is said that a week is a long time in politics. But when disasters strike, a week can be the difference between life and death. When the outside world heard of the devastating earthquake in Morocco Dartmouth Rotary swung into action and obtained the necessary permission and licence to hold a street collection within the week, and Rotarians were volunteering to man the collection tins. This is probably as fast as practical to reach out to the community for support but still not as fast as is desirable. So, some months earlier Dartmouth Rotary had agreed to ring fence an appreciable proportion of its available funds in a Disaster Relief Fund.

“This disaster is the first opportunity to test this process and within a few days of the disaster, funds from Dartmouth Rotary were donated to Care International in Morocco.”

“And then an apparently unrelated disaster hit the city of Derna in Libya. Dartmouth Rotary has certainly risen to the challenge presented by this further tragedy to afflict North Africa. We’ve already donated all remaining funds from our Disaster Relief Fund to the Red Crescent via the Red Cross, one of the few aid organisations providing relief in Derna.”

Dartmouth Rotary President Hilary Bastone thanked those who’d given to the Dartmouth street collection.

He said: “We’re always staggered by the generosity of people, many of whom may be struggling themselves, but who always seem to be able to dig deep into their pockets to help others in greater need,”