The Philippines is one of the world's most disaster prone countries. It is struck by more than 20 typhoons in an average year, and with the effects of climate change that number is expected to rise. By investing in communities before disaster strikes and helping them prepare, we can lessen disasters' impacts and ensure that communities can recover quickly and with less reliance on outside aid. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The disasters which strike the Philippines can have a devastating effect on the small community of Banaba, just outside Manila. The area is densely populated and many poor families live dangerously close to rivers which almost encircle the community. When typhoons and floods strike homes are quickly flooded, and families have to evacuate to safety. But the Banaba Evacuation Centre isn't yet equipped to host evacuees, leaving over a hundred families without a safe refuge.
While no one can control the weather, there is a great deal that can be done to prepare for disaster. The community of Banaba has come together to form a community group called Buklod Tao. The group has helped protect the community for years by building flood defences, rescue boats, and most recently also an evacuation centre. This project will help equip the evacuation centre so that vulnerable families can find safety during disasters.
This project will invest in the community's long-term ability to prepare for, and respond to, disasters. In the short term donations to this project will get the centre ready for use by evacuees. Outside of disasters the building will be used for the construction of flood rescue boats, and other community development projects. So, families will be more prepared for floods when they do come, and also able to recover more quickly afterwards.