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!
Thanks to your generosity here on GlobalGiving and gifts from outside funders, we now have enough funding to complete our first boat! The boat will be used during floods so that community-based rescue teams can evacuate trapped community members during and after floods.
That means that because you chose to give, residents of Banaba will not be left weathering floods and storms without shelter. Thanks so much!
This boat should be the start of something much larger. There are dozens of community rescue teams in Banaba which are still without boats, and we’re hoping to equip them all with rescue boats. In fact, we’re so keen on building boats that we’ve decided that when a donor – or a team of donors – funds a boat, they’ll get to choose its paint job!
Your boat could contain the logo of your company, the names of your fundraising team, a tribute to a lost loved one, or anything else you can think of! Just email Emma@EDVolunteers.org if you’re considering helping us fund a boat.
Thanks so much for all you’ve given, and we can’t wait to update you on all our successes in the coming months.
Very kind regards!
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