Low-cost Sanitation For Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

Dec 16, 2013

Latest Update from the Field

Survivors in the mountains
Survivors in the mountains

My Dear Friends,

Good day my friends and supporters. Today as I write this we have already constructed and installed a total of 385 toilets and repaired 320 damaged ones. Repairs are important because there are many instances that the septic tank and the toilet bowl remains while the housing and roof were blown away. In this way, we provide safe sanitation in a quick and easy manner. As I mentioned in my previous report, we stay and build in the site, putting up tents and then pre-fabricating the toilets in the tents. We build within a 10-kilometer radius from where we are located and using available local materials. We have 3 chainsaws operating and we are using the coconut trees destroyed during the height of Typhoon Yolanda as the main construction frame for the toilet houses and roof. In some instances we ended up also repairing the lean-to’s of survivors and giving nails to some. Nails here is a precious commodity, and especially for the very poor, they cannot procure it. Five kilos of nails is enough for a family to rebuild their blown away houses no matter if it does not look good enough as long as there is a roof upon their heads.

As I report this, the biggest problem faced by the survivors is the lack of food. Crops is totally wiped-out and most of the livestock died during the typhoon. International aid is also slowly folding-up and returning home, so this is indeed a very grave problem. We are starting to initiate vegetable gardening for food security but immediate food packs containing not noodles and sardines but Filipino food such as mongo, rice,  dried fish and dried meat is badly and urgently needed.

Some of the survivors especially in the mountains and cut-off areas are reporting having not eaten for weeks now and they are subsisting on grasses and coconuts. I enjoin you to support our emergency food packs project at,


Very sincerely yours,


Dec 2, 2013

Safe Sanitation in Ormoc City

Safe Sanitation
Safe Sanitation

Hello Friends,

Good day. We have now installed a total of 85 toilets and we are focusing on the most needy families, families who are very poor and are sleeping in makeshift lean-to’s. In some instance, we ended up also constructing temporary dwelling for them! The entire city in Ormoc is wiped-out and the most affected are those living in shanties and slums for their dwelling is no match for the fury of Super-typhoon Haiyan. The city is very dark at night and few electric generators are working. We pity the children who are starving and aid is not reaching the far-flung barrios.

We appeal to your kind hearts to support our second initiative. Food packs consisting of Filipino foods such as rice, mongo, dried fish, salt, oil is urgently needed.  The link is,


Thank you very much.

Very sincerely yours,


Nov 19, 2013

Latest Field Report: WAND Foundation Typhoon Haiyan Safe Sanitation Initiative

Safe Sanitation for All!
Safe Sanitation for All!

Entered into the news today in the link,  http://ph.news.yahoo.com/philippine-typhoon-survivors-turn-cave-dwellers-181430964.html

The first paragraph of the news says,  “Victims who survived the Philippines' super typhoon by huddling in a cave as a tsunami-like wave obliterated their community have now made it their home -- reduced to Stone Age conditions with nowhere else to go.”

Surely this type of news will break your heart. And so much so that aid is coming in trickles due to frenzy, chaos, impassable roads and just sheer desperation because of what happened. Now we are continuing with pre-fabrication of the toilets while a small team is now in the site assessing the situation and establishing where we can camp and continue with pre-fabrication and installation of the toilets.

We are a small, very passionate team, we don’t stay in fancy hotels but close to the ground, where the people are, eat and sleep with them. We are locals, have no problem with cultural understanding and security. The uniqueness of our approach is that we custom-built the toilets, using cheap but durable materials thereby stretching the numbers we can build. The sanitation alternative by international aid is the “portalet” which is very expensive at 4,000 USD and difficult to maintain as it requires de-sludging everyday at 50 USD per de-sludge. One use and you can see your feces floating and in this hot, tropics, the smell inside the imported protalets, maybe useful only in icy climate is subjecting the survivors to another Haiyan many times over.

Nov 16, 2013

Continuing with pre-fabrication

Pre-fabricating toilets
Pre-fabricating toilets

Dear Friends,

A Blessed Weekend and Warm Greetings to all. May I report that as of today we have already pre-fabricated a total of 45 toilets. Our team of expert carpenters and masons can pre-fabricate 12 units in a day. As per our previous report, pre-fabricating the toilets in our base then transporting and installing the units to the devastated site is very practical as the sites are completely wiped-out and procuring the materials will be very difficult. The toilets are made of local, sturdy materials like bamboo and coconut lumber and the flooring is cement. The lifespan is 20 years so your donation will go a long way and will be remembered for long by the survivors. Long after this, I will provide you with updates. I am an expert on this as I am a Tech Intel Environment Awardee in 2011. 

For the award, please see,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZMvFVoBHxM

Again, Thanks so much.

Very sincerely yours,


Nov 14, 2013

Starting to pre-fabricate toilets

Pre-fabricating toilets
Pre-fabricating toilets

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings. Today, we are starting to pre-fabricate low-cost, robust toilets for the survivors of Super-typhoon Haiyan. In the devastated areas, 95-97% of structures are totally wiped out and safe sanitation is one of the most urgent concerns. Time is of the essence and we are pre-fabricating the toilets then bring the pre-fabs to the installation sites because it is easy this way. We anticipate great difficulty in procuring the materials in the site given that everything is all wiped-out. We are thinking of going there to start construction early next week but we moved the actual installation of the toilet to November 25 or 11 days from now and better to concentrate in pre-fabrication and stockpiling supplies. We are also sending a team to the devastated areas this coming Monday to already determine places to construct and touch-base with the local leaders (if there are any left). It is a hard task ahead of us given that the local government units, the police force are not yet functioning at the moment but our task is great and we cannot delay further. 

Thank you very much for your support. You are heaven-sent and we are instruments to help our suffering brothers and sisters...

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Project Leader

Cora Sayre

Executive Director
Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental Philippines

Where is this project located?

Map of Low-cost Sanitation For Typhoon Haiyan Survivors