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Typhoon Haiyan: three months on

Three months on from Typhoon Haiyan (also called Yolanda), Rose Caldwell, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide UK, visited the Philippines. She told us about her experience.

Three months

The destruction caused by Haiyan in the coastal areas and islands of Conception is still very evident three months after the typhoon. Thankfully, the emergency phase is over and people are trying to rebuild their livelihoods, but life is not like it was before.

Boat yards

75% of these communities depend on fishing for their livelihoods and many families lost their boats.  They now have little or no income, so they cannot start to repair their homes. But, we are helping: there is now a boat yard in Conception. A first for Concern, it’s producing hundreds of boats which will go to the poorest and most vulnerable families in fishing communities.

Water pipe

I witnessed our diving team (another first) in action surveying the damage to the underwater pipe supplying fresh water to the island of Botlog. Concern will restore and improve water to this and eight other islands.

I also spent time with our engineer. He explained how the schools would be rebuilt stronger, so that they could be used as evacuation centres when the next typhoon strikes.

 

Hope

But most heartening of all, I met Filipinos who have been very touched by the generosity and support of people from all around the world including the UK. Ophelia Nabarro from Nipa village in Conception said:

For the week after Yolanda we were in shock, crying and upset. We thought we would be neglected and then people from international agencies like Concern started to arrive and it gave us hope.

Determined to recover, these people say thank you with a huge smile.  What a privilege it is to be able to help.

 

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