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Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities
TJ chats to a boat crew leader during his visit
TJ chats to a boat crew leader during his visit

Like much of the rest of the world, life in the community of Banaba near Manila has changed suddenly in the last couple of months.

In late February things were still relatively normal. The Banaba Livelihood & Evacuation Centre, described in our last report, was still welcoming visitors, many of whom come to see the amazing work you support.

Ka Noli, President of our amazing local partners Buklod Tao, explained as follows:

On Thursday morning, 27th February 2020. I was in the company of TJ, a Masters student at the University of the Philippines. His masteral thesis is on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. He opted to come (twice already) to Buklod Tao upon advice of his masters adviser, Dr. Jake. 

During the visit on 27th February, his itinerary was to observe, document and take photos of the physical realities of Buklod Tao activities and he focused on the fiber-glass rescue boats that are already deployed in many peripheral Buklod Tao communities.

TJ saw almost all the fiber-glass rescue boats, dry-docked at the vicinity of each crew leaders’ house. He was so impressed, and I was so proud to present to him the boats because they were recently repaired and repainted and adorned with newly printed stickers, courtesy of IDV donors! Salamat po! Salamat po! (Thank you! Thank you!)”

The “crews” Ka Noli refers to are all local residents who volunteer during floods to protect and rescue their neighbours. These volunteers selflessly put themselves in harms way when disasters strike, but they’re now facing a danger they weren’t able to train for.

Ka Noli, continued as follows:

Effective 15th March 2020 community quarantine has been imposed in Metro Manila and that includes San Mateo, Rizal, our municipality. 

I have been observing self-isolation since 16th March. Communication with other Buklod Tao members like Pablo and Francia is done via SMS and Facebook Messenger. We have not seen each other since the quarantine started.

Our boat crews are normally engaged in blue collar jobs, and sometimes casually. But since 21st April there is an enhanced community quarantine, which is more strict and stringent, and so their income has stopped.

Buklod Tao has been helping but we are also being affected by the lockdown, and now we have no more resources to help out our already suffering crews. The local government unit of Banaba is making efforts to distribute packed goods, but we are worried about surviving”.

We know it’s hard for everyone at the moment, but if you’re able to help by making a donation to support Banaba’s boat crews during this difficult time, we’d be incredibly grateful as always.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

The boats are crewed by local volunteers
The boats are crewed by local volunteers
TJ, Ka Noli and a boat crew leader
TJ, Ka Noli and a boat crew leader
A local waterway which floods regularly
A local waterway which floods regularly
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Some of the boats you've provided
Some of the boats you've provided

It’s been an anxious few days for those with connections to the Philippines.

On December 24th as the country prepared to mark Christmas typhoon Phanfone (known locally as Ursula) made landfall in the province of Eastern Samar. Phanfone hit with the strength of a category 1 hurricane, bringing sustained wind speeds of almost 100mph and gusts of over 120mph. 

Over 58,000 people were evacuated as the typhoon approached but 28 are still sadly known to have been killed during what should have been a joyful period.

Phanfone hit close to areas affected by 2013’s typhoon Haiyian, which killed over 6,000 people and affected more than 14 million in total. Having spent years supporting thousands of affected families in and around the city of Tacloban our thoughts immediately turned to our friends there.

Happily Tacloban escaped the worst of the damage this time round, and our former Project Manager Siggy reported that all was well with him and his family.

Further north, Manila also avoided Phanfone’s destruction, and our local partners Buklod Tao also remained safe over Christmas.

However, Phanfone was the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2019 and it provided yet another reminder of how vital your support to help build rescue boats really is.

In fact, it was only a few weeks before Phanfone that typhoon Kammuri (known locally as Tisoy) struck the island on which the capital sits, Luzon.

Tisoy brought winds approaching 100mph and Manila airport was shut down as a precaution as the typhoon rolled in. In the end Tisoy passed south of Manila but Buklod Tao had still been well prepared thanks to you.

The boats you’ve provided via this project are all crewed by local volunteers who risk their own lives to rescue their neighbours in times of crisis. However, they’re only willing to do this if they know their own families are safe. 

So, in advance of Tisoy making landfall Buklod Tao provided the crews’ families with essential emergency supplies they would need should the worst happen. The crews had then been able to confidently stand guard knowing their loved ones would be safe.

Between Phanfone and Kammuri, Manila had two near misses in December alone so, once again, thank you for helping to protect flood prone communities in 2019.

We’re continuing to fundraise here on GlobalGiving to provide our next rescue boat and meanwhile we’re making further improvements to the Banaba Livelihood & Evacuation Centre that shelters people rescued by the boats.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you a new water tower has been constructed next to the building. This tower has elevated two large 1,300 litre tanks and two smaller 200 litre tanks to the height of the building’s top storey. The large tanks now gravity feed the Centre’s showers and toilets, while the two smaller tanks have boosted supply to a solar powered water purifier. 

So, evacuees sheltering in the building during typhoons can now stay clean and healthy whatever 2020 brings.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Emergency supplies for boat crew families
Emergency supplies for boat crew families
Welding the new water tower
Welding the new water tower
A water tank being hoisted into position
A water tank being hoisted into position
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The GlobalGiving is restored
The GlobalGiving is restored

Thanks to your incredible support the boatyard in Banaba has been a hive of activity over the last few months.

Firstly, the new flood rescue boat we described in our last project report was completed in August. This new boat, The Chris Taylor, is now in place in Zone 6 of Brgy Ampid 1 in Banaba. This area is often seriously affected by major storms, so this new boat will play a vital role in protecting the community’s 300 vulnerable families in future.

The Chris Taylor is the eleventh rescue boat you’ve provided and its ten predecessors have rescued many hundreds of people over the years, often including young children. However, their years of service had left them in need of a little TLC. So, over the last few months we've worked with our local partner, Buklod Tao, to restore and refresh the fleet.

Work started on the four small boats originally built back in 2013, including our very first boat which protects fifty families in the Visayas Avenue area of Banaba. Attention then turned to four of the large boats provided between 2014 and 2017.

At one point these four large boats; The Grahame Maher, The GlobalGiving, The Helen Thompson and The Nova Mills; were all dry-docked at the boatyard. With the rains growing heavier by the day restoration work had to happen quickly, and we’re happy to report that the boats have all since been returned to their communities. 

When the Nova Mills was returned to the Armpac area of Banaba we asked local resident, Joseph, how this boat helped his community:

"The Nova Mills boat is a big, big help to the 400 families here, especially when the ferocious southwest monsoon (Habagat) struck last year (2018). We were able to use The Nova Mills boat to rescue residents of the community when the flood waters reached chest high. We are very grateful. Special thanks to IDV's donors for providing this help".

Sonia, resident of North Libis had this to say on the return of The GlobalGiving boat:

“The boat is very important for our rescue use. When heavy flooding is here, the boat is an instrument for us to evacuate those trapped amongst our 300 families. Thank you!”

Ben, from the Banaba Extension area, was also very grateful for the return of The Helen Thompson:

Salamat Po! (Thank you!) The Helen Thompson rescue boat will surely be a big help to us in times of disastrous flooding. We are 500 families here with many elderly people and children who cannot move fast.”

It’s been amazing to revisit all these flood prone communities and to ensure that the boats you’ve provided will continue to protect them in the future like they have so often in the past.

But we’re not done yet. With these boats returned Buklod Tao asked if we could help to restore and repaint six more small boats originally built before our partnership began. We happily agreed and there are currently three of these boats at the boatyard, and the final three will be retrieved soon.

These restoration works have also been a great time to take stock of this projects impacts and we’re delighted to report that between the seventeen boats in the overall fleet over 5,400 families are being protected. This is an incredible achievement and its only been possible because of your amazing generosity.

Thank you so much, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The Grahame Maher is refreshed
The Grahame Maher is refreshed
The Helen Thompson returned to Banaba Extension
The Helen Thompson returned to Banaba Extension
The Nova Mills returned to Armpac
The Nova Mills returned to Armpac
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The boat hull leaving the workshop
The boat hull leaving the workshop

Thanks to your fantastic generosity our next flood rescue boat is now nearing completion!

Our boats have rescued hundreds of families over the years and we’re delighted to now be building our eleventh rescue boat in total.

As we described in our last project report this latest boat will be provided to the vulnerable river community in Zone 6 of Barangay Ampid 1, just outside Manila. This area floods regularly, and has been seriously affected by major storms in the past, so this new boat will play a vital role in keeping families safe when the next disaster inevitably strikes.

Our amazing local partner, Buklod Tao, have been sending a steady stream of photos over the last few weeks and it’s been amazing to watch the boat and its accompanying trailer take shape. We’ve included several photos with this report so you can see the process too!

As usual, the new boat is constructed from fibre-glass, which is built-up in layers using a mould. Once the main hull is built there’s still a lot to do to add bracing, seats and paddles - all of which are also made out of fibre-glass.

With much of the work done the boat was recently moved from its workshop, and will soon be ready for its paint job and stickers. As with our last few boats, we’re honoured to be dedicating this latest boat to the memory of someone close to IDV.

We don’t want to spoil the surprise however, so we won’t be announcing the name of this new boat just yet. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on progress right here on Global Giving, so please stay tuned for updates.

In the interim a huge thank you once again for helping to build rescue boats in flood prone communities.

If you have any questions meanwhile please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The first fibreglass layers laid in the mould
The first fibreglass layers laid in the mould
The hull removed from the mould
The hull removed from the mould
Floor bracing being added
Floor bracing being added
The floor is laid on top of the braces
The floor is laid on top of the braces
The boat will come with a trailer
The boat will come with a trailer
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We'll soon be providing a new boat like this one
We'll soon be providing a new boat like this one

Thanks to your amazing support we’ve now provided a total of ten flood rescue boats as a result of this GlobalGiving project.

Over the years these boats have rescued literally hundreds of families trapped by rising flood water. However, those families also need somewhere to evacuate to ride out the floods.

Sadly, for some families, there isn’t an evacuation centre nearby. So, for much of the last few months we’ve been making further improvements to the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation Centre.

Having built and equipped nineteen family cubicles in the building last year we recently started work on another twenty-four. In total this will allow forty-three families to use the building during disasters.

We’ve also installed more ceiling fans to keep everyone cool, and provided a small solar system that can power a water purifier, phones and emergency lighting if mains power is cut off during a storm. To make sure families can stay clean we’ve also undertaken some bathroom maintenance.

When complete this work will make the centre fully operational, and so we’re now turning our attention back to rescue boats once again. And, thanks to your incredible generosity we now have enough to fund another big rescue boat!

We asked Ka Noli, the founder of our local partner organisation, Buklod Tao, which community most needed this next boat and he had this to say:

“Salamat Po (Thank you) for this wonderful news of another boat!

This should go to the congested river community in Zone 685 of Barangay Ampid 1. They have one small boat that was utilized during typhoons, especially last year with Typhoon Narding but it does not suffice because of the boat's limited capacity.

The place was also heavily inundated by Tropical Storm Ketchana (or Ondoy) in 2009 and many houses were damaged just like in Banaba.

The next nearest boat is about 1.5 kilometers from Zone 685, same barangay. This is the Chris Chaggar boat that was handed over last year to San Jose de Ampid Parish and is needed to protect the families there.

So, we wish to augment the flood rescue capacity of Zone 685 with a large boat of its own”

We echo Ka Noli’s thanks to you for making this possible, and work on the new boat will start very soon. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on progress right here on GlobalGiving.

If you have any questions meanwhile please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Installing an exhaust vent for a bathroom
Installing an exhaust vent for a bathroom
We've also provided a solar system
We've also provided a solar system
The cubicles will be equipped with bedding
The cubicles will be equipped with bedding
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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IDVMedia
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom
$18,621 raised of $22,000 goal
 
306 donations
$3,379 to go
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