Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Philippines: Rebuilding for better prevention
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded which ravaged the Philippines on 8th November last year, caused colossal damage and affected 14 million people (http://www.tdh.ch/en/news/haiyan-typhoon-philippines-natural-disaster). Terre des hommes (Tdh) immediately put an emergency assistance operation into place to assist the victims (http://www.tdh.ch/en/news/haiyan-emergency-philippines). At the beginning of April, the Foundation began the second phase of its project in Eastern Samar.
Build back better and safer
More than a million homes were damaged or completely destroyed by the high winds that hit at the end of 2013. 79% of Filipinos began rebuilding their homes themselves but given their limited resources, the homes rebuilt with poor quality materials will certainly not withstand another disaster. 49% of Filipinos also expressed the need for external assistance. In this part of the world prone to natural disasters, it is essential that houses are given a solid infrastructure resistant to frequent bouts of extreme weather.
Tdh is involved in 4 regions of Samar that have been heavily impacted by the bad weather:
- In Marabut and Basey where a number of organisations are present, housing needs are gradually being taken care of. However, the structure of the homes rebuilt must be made more resistant to the destructive effects of a potential new storm. Tdh is involved in this and is supplying technical and material support to 3500 families.
- In Balangkayan, Tdh is the main organisation involved in the rebuilding of homes and is providing the equipment and assistance necessary to 8905 families.
In these four regions, training courses are organised for workers (carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers) and for heads of households included in the rebuilding process, thus gaining expertise in construction. Village committees oversee the smooth running of these activities.
Meeting their own needs
Before Haiyan, in the Samar region, the local economy was mainly dependent on fishing, agriculture, day-to-day labour or small businesses. These sectors were severely affected and the local population had to rely on external food aid. Today, many poor families say they are forced to ration their food with the risk that children may be forced to drop out of school and work to help their families.
Tdh is supporting Filipinos rebuild their livelihoods. And so fishermen and farmers are getting the necessary equipment for their businesses or the financial assistance necessary to get it. For example, fishermen can replace the fishing gear lost during the storm i.e. nets, hooks, boats etc. Tdh aims to encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly farming and fishing practices.
Children need you. Make a donation now! (https://secure.tdh.ch/en/donate/6/donations/new)
Every year, Terre des hommes offers sustainable solutions and a better future for over two million children and their relatives. Learn more about our projects in the Philippines (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/philippines).