Philippines still an emergency over 100 days on

by ShelterBox | @ShelterBox | ShelterBox
Friday, 28 February 2014 14:30 GMT

HILANTAGAAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. An aerial view of a ShelterBox tent placed where the family's home once stood. (Courtesy of Joseph Ferris III/YPDR)

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* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Over 100 days have passed since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Visayan islands in the Philippines. For many, life is starting to return to normal with rebuilding of homes, shops and businesses underway. But ShelterBox is still finding isolated pockets of need due to the country’s complex geography as well as the large scale of the disaster. The Shelter Cluster says the country is still facing a shelter emergency.

ShelterBox continues to have several Response Teams working to bring emergency shelter and other vital aid to communities in need across the four islands of Leyte, Cebu, Panay and Bantayan.

John Cecil-Wright is a Response Team volunteer who has been working in Daanbantayan, a municipality at the very top tip of Cebu. He speaks of what ShelterBox has been doing there to help the families who have lost their homes.

‘We were given information that there was a considerable need in Daanbantayan so over the past week we have been carrying out detailed needs assessments. All of the schools we have seen are without roofs and many homes have been damaged or destroyed.

‘Cramped and squalid conditions’

‘We have come across multiple families sharing one small dwelling and living in very cramped and squalid conditions as they try to begin rebuilding their homes.

‘We have also seen a number of cases where families have been split up across the municipality as there simply is not enough space for one entire family to move in with another.

‘There are also many families who need to move out of the temporary shelter they have constructed on sites of their old homes while they build a permanent house.

‘Return to a sense of normality’

‘In these three different situations, we have been able to provide shelter for the families giving them more space and privacy in some cases or bringing them together in others. For all families they can now begin to rebuild their lives in a greater level of comfort, helping them return to a sense of normality.

‘In addition to assessing the need for tents we have also been assessing requirements for other aid. Some of the families we have spoken to will take up to a year to build their new homes and have no tools to use so we have put in a request for toolkits. Mosquito nets are being sent to protect people against disease as well as solar lamps as many homes are still without power.’

Thank you

ShelterBox’s relief efforts continue in the Philippines with aid still being distributed and more being sent as requests come back from the Response Teams in the country. We have been able to make a difference to communities in need thanks to our generous supporters around the world. We cannot thank you enough.