Baptist Global Response

Haiyan action plan: Shelter most critical need in village

Associated Project: Typhoon Haiyan


CEBU CITY, Philippines — The most critical need in one Philippines village following Typhoon Haiyan is shelter, followed by water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene, according to a report from BGR’s Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART).

“We assessed a village that was significantly impacted by the typhoon,” said Pat Melancon, managing director of disaster response and training for Baptist Global Response. “We assessed four sectors: water sanitation and hygiene, food security and nutrition, shelter and non-food items, and health.

“Shelter is a very significant issue. A large percentage of the homes have either roofs missing or sheets of tin missing. A lot of work will need to be done in this area. This is a critical issue,” Melancon said. “We did see a school that has no hygiene facilities at this point. The houses we assessed had ample food supplies that will most likely last about a month.  Corn crops will be harvestable in two months. Most people in the area had generally good health, and the most prevalent presentation was the disruption in treatment of non-communicable disease -- no high blood pressure meds, etc. No issues surfaced that were not pre-disaster issues.”

The action plan: Work on providing roof repairs and combine that with water catchment systems to collect rain water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene.

The community seemed overwhelmed that anyone from the outside would care for them, Melancon added.

“The first house we surveyed was a very poor family, even by local standards. After the survey, we prayed with the couple. The husband looked so despondent. He is not able to work at his job cutting weeds from the corn fields -- he makes about $1.50 a day,” Melancon said. “They have eight children. The wife wept, before and during our prayer. After we prayed, I also saw our translator was crying.

“This is a very, very, sad situation, and it is a blessing to represent the One who can offer them hope.”

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