Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Typhoon survivors celebrate uncertain Christmas

IRIN: Typhoon survivors in the Guiuan area will celebrate an uncertain Christmas as aid workers and authorities struggle to provide shelter and livelihood assistance more than one month after Typhoon Haiyan made first landfall here, in Guiuan Eastern Samar Province in the Philippines.

“We depend on relief goods for our daily needs. If there are no more relief goods, I don’t know what will happen to us,” said Virgilio Cerdo, 86, one of Guiuan’s estimated 47,000 residents. Cerdo used to make about US$2 a day tending a coconut farm, a major source of livelihood in the region.“I don’t know how to do anything else,” said Cerdo, looking at the uprooted coconut trees.

Typhoon Haiyan descended on the central Philippines on 8 November with wind speeds of 235km/h and gusts of 275km/h, flattening everything on its way across large swaths of nine provinces. More than one million homes were damaged or destroyed, displacing more than four million people and leaving over 6,000 dead.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council has put the damage to infrastructure at more than $412 million, while agricultural damage stands at $413 million. Many small businesses were destroyed or have been unable to continue operating, and most people now have no reliable source of income.

Oxfam, one of 20 partners working in the area of early recovery and livelihoods, is looking into ways to help families recover faster.“We’re listening to both men and women from the families to see what skills they have, and possibly giving them livelihood opportunities. We often see that the women bring diversity in the ways the family gains a sustainable income,”said Justin Morgan, Oxfam country director in Manila, the Philippine capital.

“The most urgent need right now is shelter,” said Andrew Lind, International Organization for Migration (IOM) programme managerand focal point for the 20 partners for shelter and camp coordination management (CCM) in Guiuan, adding that about 90 percent of the homes were destroyed....

A Guiuan resident stares out of his doorway in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. US Department of Defense photo dated November 15, 2013

No comments: