The weather in Banaba has remained mercifully calm over the past few months.
At Easter a super typhoon called Maysak did form over the Pacific. But happily, after threatening the Philippines for a few days, the typhoon blew itself out before making landfall.
Our partners Buklod Tao had begun to break out their emergency supplies, which were paid for with your generous donations, but in the end they were able to stand down and return to their day-to-day tasks.
Of course, these day to day tasks still relate to preparing for disasters, although a little more indirectly.
It’s a sad fact that the poor are often most affected by disasters. For example, they can often only afford to live along dangerous riverbanks. Their poorly constructed houses are also washed away easily.
This is why providing livelihoods opportunities for Banaba’s poor is as important for disaster risk reduction as making preparations for an actual response.
And thanks to your incredible support we’re helping to provide these opportunities in Banaba.
Last year we purchased sewing machines for the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation Centre. These machines are used by local women to make a range of products which can be sold to earn vital income.
Products made by the women include shopping bags recycled from old juice cartons and slippers made from coconut husks. Over the last few weeks however the women have also started sewing cleaning rags made from unwanted clothes and material.
One of the women who uses the sewing machines is 51 year old Marilyn. Marilyn has four children and she hopes they can all finish their studies. Marilyn also hopes that they can find a safer place to live. But for these hopes to become a reality Marilyn needs a chance to earn an income.
Happily, thanks to the sewing machines you provided, Marilyn now has this opportunity.
Using these machines Marilyn, and the other women she shares them with, are currently earning around $7 a day making the cleaning rags. This may not sound like much but for Marilyn in Banaba, it makes a huge difference.
Working collectively also helps in other ways. Sometimes the women sew, and sometimes they cut and prepare the materials. The main thing is that they work together and share access to the machines so that they all benefit. This spirit of cooperation, developed during the calm, will provide the women with a support network when the next storm does hit.
Thanks so much for supporting Marilyn and her colleagues, even when the sun is shining.
As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.
Thanks to your amazing generosity we've recently worked with our partner Buklod Tao to improve the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation Center, just outside of Manila.
The main structure of the center was built by another NGO but their funding ran out before work could be completed. While some of the building was usable, only the first floor had windows and this meant the upper two floors were badly exposed to the elements. The center also lacked a mains water supply and only had two working bathrooms.
For most of the year the center is used to host Buklod Tao's impactful community development projects. But with windows on only one floor even moderate rain would disrupt these projects.
During typhoons the center is intended to be used as a safe place for sixty evacuated families. But with protection, sanitation and water supply all limited only a very few could use the building.
This was all incredibly frustrating for Buklod Tao who work tirelessly to improve their community and to help protect it from disasters.
But thanks to your support, we’ve been able to make great progress on making the center usable over the last few months.
The center’s second floor is now watertight and secure, thanks to both windows and security bars being installed. We’ve also finished construction work on the centre's second and third floor bathrooms. This work has doubled the amount of usable space in the center and it's also doubled the amount of usable sanitation facilities.
With your help a rainwater harvesting system and pump have also been installed to provide the water supply.
The harvesting system can store over 650 gallons and we’ve helped train Buklod Tao in how to sterilise the contained water. This means families evacuated during typhoons can now receive safe drinking water without outside help being necessary.
Thanks to you we’ve also added additional cooking facilities at the center. This is already allowing Buklod Tao’s “Community Kitchen” to provide even more hot meals to evacuees during typhoons.
Outside of typhoons one of the community development projects based at the center involves teaching vegetable gardening to families. This provides families with better nutrition and more food security.
It’s a great project so we’ve recently supported its growth through the construction of a greenhouse at the center for seedlings.
This greenhouse, and all the other recent work at the center, was only possible because of your kind and generous donations. Because of your gifts Buklod Tao will be able to help their own community even more in 2015. Thanks so much for your support!
As always, if you ever have any questions about how we’re using your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.
On September 19, 2014, Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (known locally as Mario) struck the Philippine island of Luzon. Heavy rain caused flooding in many areas, including across Metro Manila, and almost 130,000 people were forced from their homes.
In Barangay Banaba, just outside of Manila, around 1,500 people were evacuated as nearby rivers burst their banks.
Evacuation is always a hard thing to endure. It’s scary and cold. People worry about their family and friends, and evacuees often have to leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
But, thanks to your generosity, we were able to work with our local partner, Buklod Tao, to activate their “community kitchen”. Cauldron’s of hot food were soon being prepared and these were sent to evacuation centers all around Banaba.
Thanks to you, this “mobile” kitchen served hot, healthy meals to over 1,000 evacuees during tropical storm Mario. These meals helped keep people healthy and provided comfort during difficult times.
Some of those who received hot meals were 74 year old Antonio and his grandchildren. Antonio had this to say about the help he received:
“This community kitchen and food distribution is awesome; a big help to us who were given a bowl of sotanghon (noodles with cabbage) because we really lack means in food provision. I am very thankful and happy too because there are people like you who extend cooked food assistance to us."
Without your donations, we wouldn’t have been there to make sure families like Antonio’s had a hot meal in their time of need. So, thank you so much!
As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Emma@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.
On July 16th, typhoon Glenda slammed into Manila bringing hurricane force winds and rain. The community of Banaba is used to flooding, but Glenda’s strong winds made it particularly dangerous.
Thanks to you, the community leaders of Buklod Tao were ready and, as soon as it became apparent that Glenda would strike Banaba, they sprang into action.
We asked community leader Noli to tell us about his experiences of typhoon Glenda and the work your donations made possible. Here’s what he had to say:
In the evening of 15th July, during the calm before the storm [we] purchase needed food items so that we would be able to prepare food for the people who would probably need to evacuated. We also made sure that our community leaders had credit on their phones, so we could stay in touch during the storm...Monitoring of the river and the wind ensued all throughout the night and we relayed early warning to neighbors - especially regarding the perils of big trees being uprooted and might fall to walls and houses, and about the level of the river. Boats were readied, the vessels already prepositioned all year round in the peripheral communities prone to flooding.
In the morning of 16 July, the communities were whipped by the strong winds of Glenda coupled with strong rain. But the winds were more devastating than the rain. The rivers did not swell. Roofing materials and plywood or tarpaulin sheets were blown away. People evacuated to four centers and our community rescue teams helped people reach safety.
We transported kids and mothers from sition Libis Riverside to safe evacuation centres. At midmorning we prepared two cauldrons of hot porridge and fed more than 100 people who had been forced from their homes.
As the storm calmed, we worked with the neighborhood President, Romy, to undertake a rapid damage assessment in the community. We found that 71 informal settler families had badly damaged homes and were in terrible need. We used our emergency fund to buy much needed repair and replacement of roof materials, plywood wall and construction nails.
No casualty was reported.
In times like typhoon Glenda, we remember our motto“In times of affliction, God and Preparedness are our protection”.
Thank you for making it possible for us to prepare!”
Without your donations, Buklod Tao wouldn’t have been there to ensure families reached safety, to provide supplies to make emergency repairs and to make sure families forced from their homes had a hot meal in their time of need. Thanks so much!
This almost certainly won’t be the last severe weather that Buklod Tao will have to cope with – and that’s why we hope you’ll give what you can today.
Thanks so much, and we wish you all the best.
In Banaba, it’s not a question of if there will be another flood - only when. That’s why your gifts to help the community prepare for disaster are so essential.
Like all of our rescue team members, Maria is devoted to helping her community. But, if the worst comes to the worst and Maria needs to evacuate someone who has been injured, Maria needs to know what to do.
That’s why we recently helped community leaders learn about first aid.
Over an intensive two day course led by army personnel, rescue team members like Maria learned CPR, how to safety move someone who may have a spinal cord injury, how to splint a broken bone, how to navigate through smoke – as floods often trigger fires – and much more.
Your donations funded this training – thanks so much!
While the recent training was fantastic, there’s still much to do. Not all of our teams have received first aid training, and some of them still need new equipment – like first aid kits and life vests .
Happily, GlobalGiving is joining the fight to help Banaba prepare for disaster.
One July 16th, GlobalGiving will match your gift by 50%. This means that if you give $50, GlobalGiving will top up your donation to $75, and we’ll be able to keep investing in Banaba’s ability to resist and recover from disasters.
That makes July 16th a very exciting day to give!
If you ever have any questions about how we’re using your gifts, please don’t hesitate to email Emma@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you!
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