Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines Activity Report #4
Here is an update from PBV’s team on Biliran Island, where we continue to assist affected communities in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Although Biliran Island was heavily affected by Typhoon 30 Typhoon Haiyan, it is a region that has seen a lack of support from international organizations, including the UN. Residents of Biliran have been very resourceful in repairing their homes, using materials such as tarps and coconut leaves, leaving homes vulnerable to severe weather conditions. Many residents are still lacking in basic resources needed to rebuild their lives.
There are many stages of recovery and much of it depends on having appropriate materials and space to rebuild. Therefore, we are planning to first deliver construction materials to families whose homes were completely destroyed or heavily damaged before distributing kitchen starter kits (including pots, pans and kitchen utensils).
We are currently working with the Filipino organization PDRRN, as well as international NGO CWS- Asia/Pacific in three barangays (towns) in the southern region of Biliran Island. In order to effectively distribute aid, we must also cooperate with the provincial government and the barangay community leaders, as well as the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development).
Pictured above is the governor of Biliran (left), with PDRRN representative Esteban Mascaga (also know as ‘Bong’) as they discuss the details of implementing the project. Mr. Mascaga founded PDRRN after the eruption of Pinatubo Volcano, and has been working on disaster relief and prevention efforts since.
Once the project is confirmed, an executive committee will be established to work in close partnership with local stakeholders. These members will continue to discuss the goals, image, schedule and division of work until the conclusion of the project.
PBV also wishes to contribute to the relief efforts by sharing the experiences and lessons learnt from the Great East Japan Earthquake, especially given that many Tohoku residents encouraged us to start work in the Philippines.
Once the schedule is confirmed, we will visit all of the households previously registered to receive materials, to assess each individual case and liaise with residents. We will also be considering factors outside of the reconstruction of homes, making sure to note households with disabled residents, and those with elderly residents to prioritize these kinds of cases.
Once the list of recipients is complete, we will be distributing tickets in advance. On the day of distribution, local residents will bring the tickets and exchange them for materials to ensure a fair and equal method of distribution..
This sort of preparation work continues in many different barangays at the same time and requires full-time staff to oversee operations. There is a lack of places to stay for visitors, since this is a region that usually does not see many tourists, but our local partners were kind enough to share their homes with us.
The rainy season in the Philippines has come to a close and the weather is seeing steady improvement. In addition to telecommunications, electricity has not been restored everywhere, so generators are still needed to supply power in some areas. We have been using solar power generators (generously provided to us by outdoor company Mont-Bell) to power our satellite phones and cameras.
Below is a photo taken during distribution day for home repair materials in the Bato area. A total of 64 households showed up to exchange their tickets for building materials.
Among the materials distributed were GI sheets (sheets of zinc and tin), adhesive, nails, and wire. While the local residents attended an information session, the executive committee members and local volunteers carried the materials outside the meeting hall.
Nails are divided into small bags so that the distribution can proceed smoothly.
Below is an explanation of how to construct houses with the given materials. Although many people here build their homes by themselves or with the help of their neighbors, we have provided this sort of information in the hope that the residents build strong homes to be more resistant to typhoons in the future. This is a combined effort of PDRRN, CWS and PBV, in order to encourage the building of disaster resilient homes going forward.
In the new year, we plan to start work from January 3rd, distributing construction materials in the barangays of Burabod and Busili. We also plan to distribute kitchen starter kits during this time. If fundraising efforts are successful, we will also consider expanding our project to neighboring barangays who are still in need of assistance.
We kindly ask for your continued support and cooperation.
Donations for Typhoon Haiyan can be made through the link below: