Three months after the typhoon we already helped 35 000 FilipinosPublished: Feb 6, 2014 Reading time: 4 minutes
Guiuan, Prague (6th February 2014) - The strongest typhoon to ever hit a mainland devastated vast parts of Philippines three months ago. Even today, people still face the aftermath of the tropical cyclone that killed 6200 people and destroyed more than 1.1 million homes. One of the most pressing problems is the loss of the livelihoods of almost 6 million people. PIN offered the locals an opportunity to earn extra money by helping with debris removal in addition to repairing schools and concentrating on rebuilding farms. Public donations to the relief fund SOS Philippines already helped more than 35 000 people affected by the disaster.
Difficult situations in the affected regions of Eastern Samar were further complicated by strong rains and winds that followed in January. "The rains and wind destroyed part of the harvest and in many cases tore the makeshift roofs on schools and houses," describes the situation Marek Štys, coordinator of PIN humanitarian projects. "We covered the roofs of 21 classrooms with more durable materials and the works on another 43 classrooms continue so that children can return to schools as soon as possible," he added.
PIN aid in numbers:
10 000 people were given food aid.
5000 people were provided with material for makeshift shelters.
1550 people took part in public works and helped with debris removal to earn extra money for their families (altogether for 8000 people).
25km of roads were made accessible by clearing off debris and fallen trees.
3 new wooden bridges enabled access into cut off areas.
30 public squares were cleared.
64 primary school classrooms are being repaired.
9 latrines in schools and clinics are being repaired to serve 3000 people.
2 healthcare centres were cleared, repaired and now serve more than 1200 people.
4 day care centers for children were repaired.
The PIN’s Philippines team of offered an opportunity to earn extra cash to more than 1550 people by taking part in public works. People helped to remove debris and fallen trees from public spaces and access roads, build latrines and repair schools. This extra income enables them to buy what they need most.
One of them was Romeo Bagason, who is from a village in Santa Cruz, who helped with removing fallen trees and cutting them into beams for 15 days. The farmer, who has a wife and three children, lost a harvest, a palm grove and a house because of the typhoon. Through public works he earned 2000 CZK. "This is a lot of money here and together with the humanitarian aid it will help us to survive until we bring in a new harvest," praises the farmer.
A village 5km from the coast has received a chainsaw from PIN that people have used to clear the access roads. "It was necessary to make a deal with the village mayor and the owners of the fallen trees to give the wood to the villagers for free. People started right away to cut the logs into beams that were then distributed among 22 households for roof repairs," says Marek Štys. "It is a huge help to us as we have neither the means to cut the wood ourselves, nor can we afford to buy it," says Bagason.
Millions of palm trees were torn down during the typhoon in the affected regions. They are the main source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of locals (the Philippines is the second largest world producer of coconuts, it covers almost 27% of the world produce of this crop). New trees start to produce only after 6 to 8 years. "This is why our priority is processing of the wood from the fallen trees and encouraging the farmers to grow alternative crops until the new palm trees start producing," says Marek Štys.
PIN in the Philippines
Immediately after the typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, PIN released 500 000 CZK from its humanitarian fund Club of friends as a relief aid to disaster victims, and it also called on the public to contribute to the relief fund SOS Philippines. A five-member team was sent to the Philippines to distribute food and material aid at first, and later organized public works and repair works on the houses, schools and clinics. Now, it concentrates on rebuilding destroyed livelihoods. Currently, the PIN team works in six regions of Eastern Samar and coordinates the help from its permanent office in Guiuan.
Contributions are still accepted by the relief fund SOS Philippines to account 37893789/0300 or by sending DMS in the form of DMS FILIPINY to number 87777. 18.3 million CZK was already collected in the relief fund by 5th February 2014. We want to thank to all donors who contributed and particularly to foundations AVAST and Vodafone, the two biggest private donors to SOS Philippines.