Oxfam has now reached more than 500,000 people with life-saving support. In order to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera, providing clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene supplies has been our top priority.
In the devastated city of Tecloban, for instance, we worked with partners and local authorities to restore water supplies to 80 percent of the population within a week of the storm. For others, we installed 5,000-liter bladder tanks to store and distribute clean drinking water. To meet urgent needs for improved sanitation in areas where displaced people have taken refuge, Oxfam and community members have joined forces to dig latrines, empty septic tanks, and construct bathing facilities.
Food is another key priority. Oxfam and partners have launched programs that are helping tens of thousands of people feed their families, sometimes in exchange for accomplishing critical community tasks like building latrines and removing wreckage left behind by the storm and floods.
Fishing and farming families who lived in the path of the typhoon have lost boats, nets, seeds, and tools—the essentials they need to produce food and earn a living—and agricultural land has been badly affected by the storm. Oxfam has provided rice seeds to 4,000 farmers while supporting work crews to clear land and irrigation channels of debris – including coconut trees felled by the storm. By equipping farmer cooperatives with chain saws and sawmills, many of those trees will become lumber for the rebuilding effort.
In the weeks and months ahead, Oxfam will undertake a longer-term effort to help hard-hit families restore their sources of income. And we will be looking for ways to help local markets make a swift and sustainable recovery.