CWS has launched an appeal for help in the south of the Philippines. CWS is raising funds for the ACT Alliance of which it is a member.
ACT Alliance members are already providing food, blankets, first aid kits, cooking utensils, shovels for cleaning up and cash assistance in Mindanao and the Visayas. Help is needed now as families face the difficult job of cleaning up in the wake of widespread devastation. Communities will need assistance in the longer term to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) made landfall on December 4 and stayed until December 10. Power was lost, trees toppled, bridges washed away, tens of thousands of homes flooded or destroyed, many water systems damaged or lost, and crops destroyed. The Philippines government reports that 5.4 million people have been affected and more than 1.14 million are in need of food assistance. 302,586 people are displaced, many staying with family members and others staying in emergency shelters. The heavy rains and strong winds have left 647 people dead and another 780 missing.
Almost one year on from Typhoon Washi, ACT Alliance reports locals have learned the lessons of disaster preparedness. Even though Bopha was three times the strength of Washi, many lives were saved.
“No one died this time around,” said Nestor Hurano, the captain of Maasin, a village in Bukidnon province where three people were killed or disappeared during Typhoon Washi. “Because of the workshops and planning we’ve done with ACT Alliance member Christian Aid and MUCAARD Muslim-Christian Alliance for Advocacy, Relief and Development (MUCAARD), we were prepared for Pablo. We had considerable physical damage, but that can be repaired. Human lives cannot be replaced.”
Imee Manginsay, MUCAARD’s executive director, said one key to the success of disaster plans was the intentional involvement of women in planning.
“During disasters, it’s the women who care for the children and think of the impact on the family. So during our training and our mapping of risks in the communities we ensured that women participated fully. It’s the women who will prepare the emergency kit and be sure that there’s a flashlight and batteries. The men will worry about the cows and water buffaloes, but the women will ensure that the family survives,” she said.
Donations can be made on line, sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or by calling 0800 74 73 72.
December 12, 2012