During the week starting August 18th, a nearby typhoon caused the
normal monsoon rains to go into overdrive. It rained for almost five
full days – more than a month’s worth of rain fell in August 19th
By the end of the day on August 19th, the rivers began to burst their
banks, and community rescue teams sprang into action. The boats you’ve
funded were in action all over Banaba rescuing dozens of families –
but the area of “North Libis” saw a particularly dramatic rescue.
North Libis is located under a bridge next to the area’s largest river
– the Marikina river. The river rose suddenly and more than 40
families became trapped by the floodwaters.
Among those trapped were a mom and her new-born baby. She had given
birth just a week before, so she was too weak to wade through the
deep, fast-flowing water with her baby. All she could do was wait in
her house hoping help would come.
Her neighbours were able to escape, and they alerted a community
rescue team. That team returned within minutes with their boat and
ferried mother and child to a safe evacuation centre. Without that
boat, she and her baby’s story could easily have turned into tragedy.
The same rescue team was also a lifeline for dozens of other families
when floodwaters rose – but they wouldn’t have been able to help
anyone without their rescue boat! By donating towards rescue boats
you’re helping to rescue families in their hour of need. Thanks so
August’s flood wasn’t a one-off – there are surely more floods coming
in the 2013 rainy season. Thanks to your generosity for each of those
floods community rescue teams with their boats boats will be there
ready to save lives. We’ll update you on how these boats are saving
lives as more floods come, so stay tuned!
As always, if you have any questions about how we’re using your
donation to change lives here in Banaba, don’t hesitate to email
Emma@IDVolunteers.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Very kind regards,
Head of Media and Marketing
International Disaster Volunteers
England and Wales Registered Charity: 1132011
On August 18th, a typhoon passing to the northeast of the Philippines caused a phenomenon called “Enhanced Monsoon”. An enhanced monsoon occurs when the wet air from a nearby typhoon sends the Philippines’ monsoon rains into overdrive.
Here in Banaba, the enhanced monsoon brought rain for most of Saturday and all of Sunday. Rescue teams were put on alert on Sunday afternoon, and they spent Sunday night monitoring water levels thanks to texts from community group “Buklod Tao’s” leadership.
At about midnight, it became too dangerous to stay near the rivers and the rescue teams sprang into action. They spread the word that it was time to go and helped the community’s less able members get to safety. With the most vulnerable residents safe, they returned to their communities with their boats and checked that no one was trapped by floodwaters.
Thanks to the quick work of the rescue teams, evacuation went smoothly. The rain’s slowed for now, but we’re not out of the woods yet. At the time of writing, up to 30 mm of rain are expected in the next 24 hours, and the effects of the enhanced monsoon could last for up to four days. Unless the weather forecast changes, there will be more evacuation in the coming days.
During these evacuations, ensuring that rescue teams have boats is essential to saving lives. The teams with boats have proven themselves today – but without boats they can’t do their jobs. Any donation, whatever its size, bring us ever closer to delivering a boat to a rescue team leader like Romeo.
If you’re not in a position to give, please share this update with friends and family so that we can help evacuees ride out the enhanced monsoon!
Thanks so much, and very kind regards
August has been a rude awakening for the staff of our charity. Most of us are spending our first rainy season in Banaba and had no idea how quickly the rivers could rise.
There's a small creek behind our house that we can usually barely see from our roof. When we woke up on the morning of August 6th, we were gob-smacked to see the "small creek" full of fast flowing, brown water. We could see it clearly from the upstairs bedrooms.
Overnight, our creek turned into a raging torrent. All the rivers in Banaba rose as quickly as our creek did and it wasn't because of a typhoon - they rose after just a few hours of heavy rain. Luckily, on the 6th it stopped raining at 10 am and the river reached a maximum height of 15.5 meters - about 51 feet.
Evacuations start at 16 meters. That means we were only half a meter - a foot and a half - from the first flood evacuation of the year.
For families who live by the river, the floodwaters sometimes rise too quickly for them to get to safety, and when that happens they rely on rescue team leaders like Romeo. But Romeo can only rescue trapped residents because donors around the world gave the funds we needed to build his boat. There are dozens of communities who don't yet have a single rescue boat - and we need to equip them!
Last week we delivered another boat, and the community was incredibly grateful. We hope to deliver more boats as soon as possible - and you can help us get there by fundraising! What's more, thanks to GlobalGiving, your fundraising efforts could win you fabulous prizes!
From September 1st to 30th, all fundraisers who raise more than $500 for a GlobalGiving project will be entered in a raffle for prizes ranging from a flip cam to airline tickets. There are also financial awards for the project with the most fundraisers! That makes September a great month to cycle, bake, or walk for rescue boats in Banaba! If you'd like help planning your fundraising efforts you can visit www.IDVolunteers.org/fundaise-idv or email Emma@IDVolunteers.org.
Once you've decided how much you'd like to raise and how you want to raise it you can create your fundraising page here. Don't forget to add our project as the beneficiary of your efforts once you've created your page! Again, if you have any questions please email Emma@IDVolunteers.org. Thanks so much, and our very warmest regards from Banaba!
We are delighted to report that GlobalGiving isn’t the only place where the value of rescue boats is recognized.
In early June, 18 brave fundraisers in the UK abseiled down a 170 foot cliff to raise money for vulnerable community members in Banaba and the results were simply spectacular. Their fundraising efforts have given us enough funding build two more small rescue boats! We’d like to thank all 18 hardy souls who spent their day dangling a long way off the ground so that, here in Banaba, no one would have to weather a flood without hope of rescue.
Each boat will help dozens of families like Servano’s. Servano is 12. He lives with his disabled sister and his grandmother in a one-room house made of tin and plywood and perched on a riverbank. Every year there are floods, and Servano's house has already been totally destroyed twice in his short life.
The physical loss isn't the most devastating part of living with floods - it's the constant fear. Servano and his grandmother worry constantly about his disabled sister.
Knowing that there’s a rescue team with a boat that can come and get them should they be trapped by the floodwaters gives them peace of mind. And when the floods come, that boat just might save their lives.
We’re delighted that these two boats will keep dozens of families like Servano’s safe and we can’t wait to deliver these boats to the communities that need them. Stay tuned!
We’re delighted to report that we’ve delivered our first boat! The delivery was made just in time – it’s been raining here every night since we dropped it off!
While this happy community is now much safer during floods, there are still hundreds of families – like Mae’s – who are facing this rainy season without a boat! It’s already raining here in Banaba, and the floods are coming.
We urgently need funds so that we can build rescue boats before the rainy season kicks into high gear in July.
Today, GlobalGiving is helping us protect Mae and her family by matching your donations! That means that when you give, GlobalGiving will add 50% to your donation. Every donation brings us closer to completing our next boat, so please give what you can!
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