Almost a year after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in Easter Visayas, a lot of areas remain to be rehabilitated.
In Barangay San Jose, Dulag, Leyte, some residents still live under tents. After losing their livelihood and other sources of income, rebuilding their damaged homes has become more than just difficult.
Help during the first few months after the typhoon was mainly to relieve their empty stomachs. But even if they had enough for an almost decent meal, their worries never waned; especially during sundown. Parents thought hard of how their children would spend the night guarded only thin sheets of tent.
One of the residents, Susie Luceno, was left with no other option but to build themselves a hut from old wood and metal scraps. Up to now, she admits that her family is having a hard time coping.
“Mahirap parin ang buhay, natatakot parin kami basta lumakas ang hangin at ulan,” she tells ABS-CBN News.
The ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation continues to be at the forefront in providing assistance to residents affected by the typhoon. Aside from constructing school buildings, restoring livelihood through bangkas and organic farms, one of its thrusts is to also educate community leaders on disaster risk reduction and management. This is in order for them to cascade information to their respective communities and equip them with knowledge of survival should another super typhoon batter the region.
“It is extremely important to be familiar with knowledge about being prepared for disasters. This is all about saving lives,” says Miriam College Director for Environmental Studies, Donna Reyes.
Among the myriad of topics discussed was climate change and how such phenomenon has detrimental effects not only on our surroundings but also on our health and food security. Reyes explained that climate change is fast allowing different forms of viruses to mutate and spread. Moreover, the extreme heat and floods that frequently occur destroys thousands of crops including the country’s staple, thereby affecting food supply.
Throughout the 3 day workshop, leaders were exposed to different possibilities that they may face them in case another calamity strikes. The manner in which they echo gained knowledge to their communities was also taught and closely monitored.
Bantay Kalikasan’s Project Manager Lilian Dela Vega is positive that residents in the Yolanda struck areas will put the new body of knowledge they gained to good use.
“Aside from NGOs and other groups, those who will should practice bayanihan and show signs of recovery should first come from the affected community,” she says.