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
The Grahame Maher in action during Ulysses
The Grahame Maher in action during Ulysses

Thanks so much for helping provide rescue boats for flood prone communities.

These boats have proven to be lifesavers time and time again, including during typhoon Ulysses which struck the Philippines at the end of last year. Ulysses also brought some important lessons for the boat crews and our local partner Buklod Tao that we’ve been responding to over the last few months.

During the typhoon many boats had to navigate narrow alleys and fight heavy currents. Ka Noli, Buklod Tao’s President explained what they realised in the process:

“It was observed that the paddles were used to push forward the boat by pressing the paddles against the walls of houses alongside the flooded street. Also, when the floodwaters were swift the paddles were sometimes no match to the current. There must be one more tool for the boat crews. We would like to provide "Tikin" poles to make the mobility of the boat more efficient by pushing.”

Because of your brilliant donations we’ve been able to provide fourteen of these Tikin (or quant) poles - one for each of the volunteer boat crews that protect their local communities. Thank you for making this vital adaptation possible.

In our last report we also highlighted how typhoon Ulysses had revealed gaps in the fleet’s geographical coverage, and that Buklod Tao were considering moving the Grahame Maher boat to protect 150-200 families living in the Baybay Ilog 2 area of Banaba. Plans have since moved forward, and Ka Noli again explained:

“After earlier discussions with the prospective team leader, Jhun Sarte, we have organized one new Buklod Tao DRR Team at Baybay Ilog 2, very close to Dama De Noche street, Dona Pepeng Subdivision, Banaba. We have handed over to the team one Tikin pole, two paddles and four life vests. We could not identify a secure place to dry dock the boat so the game plan is for the IDV-donated multicab truck to haul the Grahame Maher boat to the new Team at Baybay Ilog 2 during inclement weather”.

This isn’t the only redeployment of existing boats being considered after Ulysses. Major development projects spreading out from metro Manila are also diverting waterways and changing flood patterns. Ka Noli continued his report:

“I would add here the prospect of recent non-flooding in the previously heavily flooded area of Armpac.Testimonies have it that during last year's typhoon Ulysses Armapac was no longer flooded due to the almost completed huge drainage system that accompanies the construction of C-6 Highway. We are going to actively observe Armpac this coming flooding season, and if Armpac is truly spared from flood(s), we would  opt for the retrieval of the Nova Mills Boat for hand-over to one other flood prone area.”

The nature of the threat brought by typhoons in the Philippines is constantly evolving, and so too is how we work to protect against it. And while some areas are now less exposed than before, many more are increasingly vulnerable. So, we're continuing to raise funds for more rescue boats right here on GlobalGiving.

Once again, 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 boat crews have a new tool thanks to you
The boat crews have a new tool thanks to you
The Grahame Maher will now protect Baybay Ilog 2
The Grahame Maher will now protect Baybay Ilog 2
The Nova Mills stationed in Armpac may be moved
The Nova Mills stationed in Armpac may be moved
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The Brgy. IVC boats leaving the boat shop
The Brgy. IVC boats leaving the boat shop

It’s hard to believe that the 2021 Pacific typhoon season is now less than a month away. 

Typhoon Vamco, known locally as Ulysses, only struck just before Christmas, bringing widespread devastation to Luzon, the island on which the capital Manila sits. However, Ulysses hit right at the end of the previous season, meaning that affected communities have had little time to recover and catch their breaths before getting ready to brace for impact once again.

Our amazing local partners Buklod Tao have used this precious time to do everything they can to prepare for the next round of storms though, including helping to provide new flood rescue boats and making sure the existing fleet is being utilised as effectively as possible.

Buklod Tao’s founder and President, the indomitable Ka Noli, explained about the new boats:

“We are once again in a lockdown mode similar to last March/April last year due to the increase in the number COVID-19 cases all over the country. Thus, non-essential volunteers do not report to Buklod Tao Center due to safety protocols. 

But amidst the pandemic we still are organizing essential work and managed to fabricate two units of the small design fiberglass rescue boats. These boats were commissioned by the St Vincent Foundation for use in Sition Olandes, Brgy. IVC (Industrial Valley Complex) in Marikina City. This area lies next to the mighty Marikina river and is ever more frequently affected by the rising waters now.

The boats were proposed, approved and constructed very quickly, all this was completed between the later part of February and the last week of March 2021. Hauling to Sition Olandes (named after Holland) was undertaken after the Holy Week, 7th April.”

Ka Noli went on to explain about the planned changes to the deployment of the existing fleet:

I have started talking to a prospective leader of a new Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) team here in the Baybay Ilog 2 area of Banaba. This area was really engulfed by the flood waters of nearby Nangka River last November 2020 during typhoon Ulysses. 

We estimate there are 150-200 families residing here, very near the Nangka River, and this particular area has no rescue boat coverage at all. So, we would like to earmark the Graheme Maher boat, provided by IDV, to this community. This boat was used before in North and South Libis, but there are several small rescue boats also in this area that can help. So, please do not worry about these areas being endangered.

We have asked the prospective DRR team leader, Jhun Sarte, if there is a sufficient space where The Graheme Maher boat could be dry-docked, and stay free from damage. The Graheme Maher could stay put here at Buklod Tao Center grounds if not and we could simply haul it when typhoon warnings are raised”.

We’re pleased that yet more vulnerable communities are benefitting from the protection of flood rescue boats and we’re currently using some of your donations to this project to undertake some repairs to the Grahame Maher before its redeployment. We’re also continuing to raise funds for more rescue boats so that even more communities can benefit in future.

Once again, 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 two Brgy. IVC boats ready for delivery
The two Brgy. IVC boats ready for delivery
The transport arrives
The transport arrives
The boats being loaded
The boats being loaded
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The Grahame Maher in action
The Grahame Maher in action

Last month the Philippines was sadly struck by another deadly typhoon. Typhoon Vamco, known locally as typhoon Ulysses was the tenth typhoon of the 2020 Pacific typhoon season. Yet, this powerful category 4-equivalent became the second costliest in the country’s history.

In Metro Manila, Ulysses brought the worst flooding since typhoon Ketsana struck in 2009. For the residents of Banaba, just outside the capital the rapidly rising flood waters soon inundated houses leaving many residents trapped.

Thankfully, because of your amazing support over the years, these residents had flood rescue boats near to hand to protect them.

For example, in North and South Libis the Grahame Maher boat helped protect around 800 families and saw heavy use throughout the typhoon. Similarly, the Chris Taylor boat was immediately launched to protect the 500 families living in Zone 6, Barangay Ampid 1.

We’ve included some photos of these boats in action and we think they show better than words how important your support of this project really is. Thank you!

Yet, the flood rescue boats you’ve helped provide aren’t just protecting flood prone communities in Manila.

In our last project report we explained how we were just starting construction of a brand new boat destined for the Sierra Madre Mountains. That boat was completed in late September and delivered soon after. It was a hard slog into the mountains but the new Punduhan ng Dumagat boat is now helping to protect 60 indigenous families in case of the collapse of a nearby damn.

We hope such a collapse never happens, but as the boats in Manila show, it’s better to have them and not need them, than the other way around.

Once again, 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 Grahame Maher in action
The Grahame Maher in action
The Chris Taylor in action
The Chris Taylor in action
The new Punduhan ng Dumagat boat
The new Punduhan ng Dumagat boat
The new boat being delivered
The new boat being delivered
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Construction of the new boat will soon start
Construction of the new boat will soon start

It’s August and the rainy season in the Philippines is now in full swing. This in turn means that the threat of floods and typhoons hang ominously over the community of Banaba on a daily basis.

While this threat is a serious one your incredible support over the years has enabled us to provide new eleven flood rescue boats and refurbish another six. Together, these seventeen boats are helping to protect over 5,400 families in and around Banaba. Thank you so much.

Your ongoing generosity means that we’ve now raised enough to provide our next rescue boat. And amazingly, your support, means that we’re now able to extend this project’s reach into a new community.

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

“Thank you for the announced availability of funding for fabrication of another rescue boat (big design). Buklod Tao is proud to announce that with your help Banaba is already well served in terms of boat availability. 

However, about six months ago, one Franciscan Brother, Martin Francisco, inquired about the possibility of receiving a big boat. Brother Martin is living with indigenous people called the Dumagats at the Sierra Madre Mountains north of San Mateo (Rizal province).  

Brother Martin is helping the Dumagats in protecting the local ecology from illegal loggers but is very serious about the need for a boat in case there is a big collapse of the nearby  dams - Ipo Dam, Angat Dam, and Burgos Dam. 

We are afraid that the Dumagats people would be seriously affected by the dam(s) collapse, and he is right - just look at what is happening now at the three gorges dam collapse in China. The three dams at the vicinity of Brother Martin’s location already need some retrofitting - this is one his long-time advocacy projects - but the local government is not paying enough attention.

Now, thanks to the IDV donors, we could fabricate fiberglass rescue boats and deliver the product to Brother Martin's Dumagat community in the Sierra Madre Mountains. And to some other communities nearby at risk of flooding.

Our partnership is now providing resilience to other communities as well as Banaba. Three cheers! Salamat po (Thank you)!”

We echo Ka Noli’s thanks and are delighted that this project is now extending beyond Banaba.

Construction of the new boat will start any day now and we’ll be sure to keep you posted right here on GlobalGiving.

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.

When finished the boat will look this one
When finished the boat will look this one
The boat is heading to an area near the Angat dam
The boat is heading to an area near the Angat dam
It will protect Dumagat people like these
It will protect Dumagat people like these
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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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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
$18,885 raised of $22,000 goal
 
313 donations
$3,115 to go
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