Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Vetted
8 month Noelle (in pink) was rescued by our boats
8 month Noelle (in pink) was rescued by our boats

Thanks to your incredible generosity, our investments in rescue boats in the community of Banaba have paid dramatic dividends over the last two weeks.

Our boats, which are crewed by specially trained community members, don’t come cheap at first glance.

Small boats, which are perfect for entering narrow urban alleyways, cost almost $900. Large boats, that can carry up to twelve people, cost just shy of $4,000 to produce.

To some, this may seem a lot for a boat which sits waiting most of the year for a flood that might happen. But Banaba is so flood prone, we know it’s sadly not a case of if something will happen, but when.

This situation is only worsening with climate change, and this is why we’ve always been a big believer in the need to prepare in advance. And thanks to your belief in us, we’ve already been able to provide seven rescue boats over the years.

And on Saturday August 13 this belief was dramatically justified once again.

The monsoon season is now in full swing and torrential rains over the weekend caused extensive flooding across Manila’s low lying areas, Banaba included.

Residents, conscious of the danger began their evacuations to nearby schools, community centers, churches and other buildings strong and high enough to offer protection.

But floods can strike quickly, particularly when rivers suddenly burst their banks. And it’s not always possible for some people, particularly the very old or very young, to move quickly. In these cases, lives really are in danger as people become trapped by the rising water.

These is exactly when the rescue boats you’ve provided become so vital. Their crews monitor the river levels and deploy before the water reaches dangerous heights. This way they’re immediately on hand to reach those in danger.

And the Saturday before last was no different - several of our boats saw action during the floods, including the large GlobalGiving boat.

In total over 180 people were rescued as a direct result. These included one pregnant woman, and almost ninety children, one of whom was eight month old Noelle (pictured wearing pink in the first photo of this report).

Noelle is the youngest of four children and her parents, Maricel and Noel, struggle to move them all quickly during floods. But thanks to you, Noelle and her family were all rescued safely by our boats.

If these boats hadn’t been ready to spring into immediate action, then things could have ended up very differently for Noelle and her brothers and sisters. Their family could have been grieving now instead of putting their lives back together and cleaning up.  And let's face it, there's no way to put a value on this.

From the bottom of our heart, thank you so much for making sure Noelle and over 180 more of Banaba’s residents were safe!  

As the situation in Banaba settles down we'll talk more to Noelle's family, and others affected, and send more updates on what your support has meant to them.

In the interim, these events have only confirmed our belief in these rescue boats once again. So we’ll continue fundraising right here on GlobalGiving to provide even more boats in the future.  

Thanks so much once again for all you’ve given! As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

Note that IDV is now also fundraising on GlobalGiving to increase its overall capacity to help disaster survivors.

 

Team leader Pina directs a small boat to action
Team leader Pina directs a small boat to action
The "GlobalGiving" boat rescued a pregnant lady
The "GlobalGiving" boat rescued a pregnant lady
The "GlobalGiving" on stand-by before the flood
The "GlobalGiving" on stand-by before the flood
Drissa in the new boat workshop you
Drissa in the new boat workshop you've provided

Thanks to your generosity we’ve been continuing our efforts to provide a rescue boat workshop at the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation Center, just outside Manila.

Since our last report, when work had just started, the main structure of the workshop has now been completed. All of the remaining windows have been installed, and the last of the walls have also been rendered.

This means that boat builder Drissa now has a place to focus on his work fabricating life saving rescue boats for his flood prone community. The boats Drissa builds will then stand at the ready for when the next typhoon and flood inevitably hits the Philippines.

We asked Drissa if he had a message for the amazing donors who made this possible, and he had this to say:

For us your action has been done in the right way, because it has come at the right time and at the right place. For the brotherhood of man please continue always on our side. Your help has been so much needed and without it we could not stand [alone]. Thank you so much”.

The new workshop is now in constant use, and over recent weeks Drissa’s also been continuing to train members of other flood prone communities to build their own boats. He most recently worked with community members from Barangay San Isidro in nearby Montalban.

This training amplifies the impact of Drissa’s own work, and of your donations which provided the workshop - thank you for helping Drissa to share his important knowledge and skills with others.

But while the workshop is usable in its current form there are further improvements we’d love to be able to help with. We asked Drissa what else was needed:

I like the new workshop but the floor is only roughly finished and I worry I will trip sometimes. For my health I would also like an additional exhaust fan to chase away dust coming from work.  Work would also be easier if we improve the lighting fixtures including provision of lamps”.

We’re keen to continue helping Drissa by better equipping the new workshop.  He’s so committed to his work, and the boats are proven lifesavers, so we’ll continue fundraising right here on GlobalGiving to make this possible.

Thanks so much once again for all you’ve already given! As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

Drissa training members of a nearby community
Drissa training members of a nearby community
The workshop is inside the larger Banaba center
The workshop is inside the larger Banaba center
Another boat leaves from the center
Another boat leaves from the center's top floor
A new rescue boat leaving the new boat workshop
A new rescue boat leaving the new boat workshop

Thanks to your incredible support our work providing rescue boats in flood prone communities has begun to take flight!

In previous project reports we explained how boat builder Drissa needed a new workshop to continue this vital work, and then how your support had started to make this possible. Since those reports work has continued to gather pace and the results are already having an immediate impact.

As we explained in our last reports Drissa’s new workshop is inside the top floor of the Banaba Livelihood & Evacuation Center, located just outside Manila. The building’s original sponsor ran out of funds before construction could be completed and so walls remained unbuilt, or unrendered, and many windows were also missing.

This made the building unusable as an evacuation center, leaving hundreds without a safe refuge during the regular typhoons and floods which strike the community. It also meant that, outside of typhoons, the building couldn’t be used for other projects, including boat building.

So, over recent months we’ve begun work towards completing the building and a part of this has involved building the new boat workshop.

Missing windows have been installed, walls have been rendered and a special chain and pulley system has been built so that finished boats can be safely hoisted out of the building when complete.

It’s amazing to see the progress your donations have made possible and we really can’t thank you enough.

But it’s not just the workshop itself that’s moving forward. By providing Drissa with this new space he’s also been able to continue his work building boats and recently also training members of other vulnerable communities to do likewise.

IDV’s resident agent in Banaba, an amazing gentleman called “Ka (or sir) Noli” had this to say about the developments:

“The fabrication room at the top floor has been utilized in the fabrication of 3 units of 8' x 5' fiber-glass rescue boats, and 5-day technology transfer of boat fabrication for 5 community folks from Brgy. Lansad, Binangonan, Rizal. This was possible only because of that special fabrication room [inside the livelihood and evacuation center]. Salamat po!”

Our boats in Banaba have already saved hundreds of lives over the years and so we’re delighted that other flood prone communities are now also learning how to better help themselves when the next typhoon inevitably strikes.

Thank you so much once again for making all this possible.

Of course, more remains to be done to finish the workshop and also to provide more vital boats. So any further donations you’re able to make will continue to have an immediate impact and be incredibly appreciated.

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

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter.

 

The boat workshop was literally full of holes
The boat workshop was literally full of holes
Thanks to you windows and walls are being finished
Thanks to you windows and walls are being finished
The workshop being used to train other communities
The workshop being used to train other communities

Links:

A message from Drissa and the rest of Buklod Tao
A message from Drissa and the rest of Buklod Tao

As the Holiday Season continues we wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas from Banaba in the Philippines.

Since our last project report we’ve been fortunate to receive several further donations, and these have allowed us to make a start on Drissa’s new boat workshop. This workshop will be inside the second floor of the Banaba Livelihood & Evacuation Center which we also talk more about in another report.

We’re currently working to improve the Center and so it’s perfect timing to be able to include the new boat workshop at the same time. When complete the boat workshop will be used by Drissa to build even more flood rescue boats for the community of Banaba. Thanks so much for making this next stage of the project possible!

Of course thanks from us is one thing, but we wanted to give Drissa and the rest of our Buklod Tao (our local partners in Banaba) a chance to send you season’s greetings themselves. So we hope you like the photo above which they sent to us just a few days ago.

We still need more funds to complete the workshop, and also to build more boats. So, if you’re still keen to support Drissa’s work this Christmas, and into the New Year, there’s still time to donate.

What’s more, there’s match funding available for any new recurring donations set up via GlobalGiving during December. On the US GlobalGiving site your initial donation will receive a 100% match after four months (a limit of $200 applies). On the UK site the terms are the same but the matching limit is £100.

Recurring donations are particularly amazing, as they allow us to plan ahead more effectively. But we would also be very grateful for any one time gifts you might be able to make as the Holiday season continues.

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

Worktable hoisted into the new 2nd floor workshop
Worktable hoisted into the new 2nd floor workshop
There
There's still plenty to do to finish the workshop
Drissa relies on the boats but he also builds them
Drissa relies on the boats but he also builds them

Soon after we sent you our last project report the Philippines was hit by typhoon Koppu, known locally as typhoon Lando.

As the fifteenth typhoon of the season approached it was clear that it would make landfall somewhere in Luzon, the northern Island which is home of the capital Manila.

In response Banaba’s rescue boat crews prepared for action. They checked their boats and equipment, bought emergency phone credit, and made sure their radios had batteries. Once everything was checked they sat down with their families to make sure they had a plan once they were separated. They all also bravely accepted that, should the worst happen, they might never be reunited.

When Koppu later made landfall it killed 58 people and forced over 100,000 from their homes. This was yet another tragedy for the Philippines but happily Manila, and nearby Banaba were spared the worst.

As the boat crews stood down the relief was almost palpable. All of Banaba’s residents have been seriously affected by typhoons and floods at some point so everyone knows what’s at stake. So, they’re all really grateful for the boats you’ve provided over the years.

One of Banaba’s residents, Drissa, summed it up simply like this:

Our community is thankful because we have something to use whenever there is flood.  It is really a big help”.

Drissa’s story is interesting because he’s not just any resident. He’s lived in Banaba for years and, like many others, he relies on the boats for rescue during floods. But perhaps because of this Drissa has also taken a lead role in actually manufacturing the boats as well.

The boats are all constructed from fiberglass and it’s a job that requires patience and skill.  Drissa has both in abundance and over time he’s become one of Banaba’s main boat builders.

Drissa often volunteers his time but, because the boat fabrication is so highly skilled, he also gets a modest payment when he’s working on the boats. It’s not a lot, but it helps, and it also means that money and skills are kept in the local community.

That’s one of the things we love about this project. The boats themselves protect the community during disasters, and the process of making them also makes the community stronger as well.

Drissa had this to say about his work:

“I am thankful that i am one of the lucky person to fabricate the rescue boats that IDV has donated to our community. It helps a lot to my family.”

We know you’ve already given a lot to help Drissa and his community but this December we’re hoping you’ll be willing to donate once again.

Banaba needs more boats and Drissa also needs help to make the production easier. His workspace is constantly being moved around. Sometimes he’s inside an unfinished building, and sometimes he just works outside.

This all makes his job more difficult and so we’re aiming to raise $1,500 to give Drissa a permanent workshop. These funds will help build an enclosed room and also give Drissa somewhere to store tools and materials to make more boats.

So please consider making a donation this December. This will help Drissa continue his trade and help protect his whole community at the same time.

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

Sometimes Drissa works in an unfinished building
Sometimes Drissa works in an unfinished building
Sometimes Drissa works outside
Sometimes Drissa works outside
Please help give Drissa a workshop this December
Please help give Drissa a workshop this December

Links:

 

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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.idvolunteers.org
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

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