Hygiene kits for Storm Washi families, Philippines

by Merlin USA
Flooding in Philippines
Flooding in Philippines

Devastating floods in Manila, central and northern Luzon

Dear Friend,

You kindly supported Merlin’s appeal for hygiene kits to help the victims of the wide spread flooding in Mindanao at the end of 2011.  Unfortunately, this cyclone season has struck with mighty force and now the people of Luzon are feeling the destructive effects of monsoon ‘Habagat’ and tropical storm ‘HaiKui’.

Merlin is helping families by offering basic health care, distributing hygiene kits to families in Rizal Province (just east of Manila), supplying medicines to local health clinics and giving practical demonstrations to people living in evacuation centers - of which there are still thousands - on how to protect their families from illness and the spread of disease.

If you are able to support Merlin's work once more, please find our appeal on the GlobalGiving site at:


On behalf of Merlin and all the families and homeless people we are caring for, thank you

Packing the hygiene kits after storm
Packing the hygiene kits after storm 'Washi'
Families receiving their hygiene kits
Families receiving their hygiene kits
Giving out hygiene kits - thanks to your support
Giving out hygiene kits - thanks to your support

Thank you for your generous gift towards Merlin’s work supporting families affected by Storm Washi at the end of last year.

With your help, we were able to respond quickly with basic health care and hygiene kits for 2,000 families who were evacuated from their homes and temporarily re-housed in storm shelters and secure buildings.   

Merlin continues to offer health care in the Philippines, but for now at least, our teams are focusing on the urban slums of Manila, the capital.  However, we are ready to respond to any further emergencies with planned disaster response strategies, so as we move towards cyclone season once more....Merlin is ready.

Looking forward

As mentioned above, the Merlin Team is now focusing on a new project in the urban slums of Manila. With the third highest population growth in South East Asia, learning about and having access to, reproductive health care is vital. Poor couples tend to have larger families, due in part to a severe lack of awareness and access to family planning resources.   Birth control allows women more opportunities and ensures better female health. 

This new program will impact over 796,000 people.

For more information and to offer your support to this new project, please check it out on the Global Giving website under the Title Giving young women opportunities in Manila, Philippines’

Merlin work with local NGO CFSI
Merlin work with local NGO CFSI

Final Report  - Storm Washi, Philippines

Storm Washi swept across the island of Mindanao between December 16 and 18.  It caused massive flooding, flash floods and landslides and sadly, killed more than 1,200 people.  Merlin responded by sending a small team to assess communities’ health needs and what damage had been done to health facilities.  In the immediate aftermath sanitation and hygiene was a priority to stop the spread of disease. 

Merlin formed a partnership with the largest national non-profit organisation, CFSI.  Sixty local people were hired to help make up and distribute hygiene kits to 2,000 families in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

Kit Distribution Details

Baragay 24          95 kits delivered

Lapasan              33 kits delivered

Camaman-an       82 kits delivered

Patag                  68 kits delivered

Poblacion            353 kits delivered over two sites

Carmen               66 kits delivered

Canituan             80 kits delivered

Bulua                  463 kits delivered

Balulang              142 kits delivered

Balubal                118 kits delivered

Santiago              500 kits delivered

By mid January most of the affected families had been reallocated places to live.  The main issues continue to be food and livelihoods, shelter and continued water and sanitation needs.  Local health authorities are trying to work together, although there is still need to strengthen mental health services – many are still traumatised from the affects of the Storm.

What next?

Merlin will not be extending its activities in Mindanao, as there are now, very few unmet emergency medical needs from the Storm.  The Merlin team will turn their attention back to a new reproductive health project in Manila.

In January 2012, Merlin began a 4 year progam to improve access to family planning methods for families living in urban slums. Targeting the poorest areas of Manila, this program will:

  • provide access to quality family planning services via three static health facilities and 18 outreach clinics,
  • promote information on family planning to over 100,000 residents,
  •  conduct family planning education sessions for 10,000 young people and mass community awareness events for up to 5,000.

This programme is expected to impact 796,000 urban slum dwellers in Manila, including 230,000 potential mothers and 170,000 young people.  For more information on this and other Merlin projects, please visit our website www.merlinusa.org 

Packing the hygiene kits
Packing the hygiene kits
Delivering kits to evacuation centers
Delivering kits to evacuation centers
Distributing kits to local families
Distributing kits to local families
Finally, each family unpacks and uses the kit
Finally, each family unpacks and uses the kit


Thank you for supporting Merlin's emergency response after Storm Washi hit Mindanao, Philippines in December 2011.  Here is an update on how your donation has made a real difference.

Merlin has been working with a local NGO (non-governmental organisation) to distribute hygiene kits to families in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, the two cities worst hit by Storm Washi.  

Merlin has supported CSFI (Community and Family Services International) to purchase items locally for the kits, which staff have then assembled, transported and distributed the kits to around 2, 000 families (approximately 10,000 people).


An example of contents of a Kit:

2 adult toothbrushes                     2 packs of sanitary napkins                           3 bars of soap

2 child toothbrushes                     1 pack of condoms                                        1 bottle of shampoo

3 tubes of toothpaste                    2 bottles antiseptic                                        3 bars of laundry soap

1 pair of adult slippers                   1 pair of child’s slippers                                 1 comb

2 bath towels                                Underwear for family of 4

All contents are placed within a sealed plastic bucket.                                    


Update on health situation in general

  • 17 health facilities were affected by Storm, including 3 hospitals (all hospitals are now fully functional). WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF and UNFPA (UN Population Fund) have committed to fund all rehabilitation and medical equipment replacement.
  • The most frequently reported health concerns since the Storm have been respiratory infections, fevers, open wounds, acute watery diarrhea and skin diseases.
  • Local NGOs and faith based groups set up medical camps after the Storm, although there was a need for more coordination between the groups.
  • The Dept. of Health (DoH) has confirmed that there has been a regular supply of medicines and no shortage has been reported so far.
  • Medical posts have been set up by DOH, with some operating on a 24/7 basis.  UNFPA have co-ordination emergency reproductive health programs.
  • There are regular coordination meetings between NGOs, and international organisations offering health, nutrition and water and sanitation services.
  • Psychosocial support services are also being provided.  However, an increase in the number of people needing mental health and higher forms of psychosocial support are expected as the emergency situation continues.
  • The immediate needs are still food, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, non-food items and shelter.
  • The DoH is providing Vitamin A supplements, supplementary feeding to infants aged 6-59 months old, and are also offering supplementary measles vaccination and tetanus. 



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Organization Information

Merlin USA

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.merlinusa.org
Merlin USA
Project Leader:
Andrea Miles
Washington, DC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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