The news on Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) no longer hits the headlines, but to those who are affected it is very much (heart)breaking news. The survivors still have to find their lost relatives or bury them, or care for their injured. Then they have to pick up their lives, poor and rich alike. The poor can only hope that there is something left for them to pick up. The havoc wreaked by Haiyan is incomprehensible. Reuters report appearing in the ManilaBulletin of 24th November 2013 says that “Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm to make landfall this year, struck the central Philippines on November 8th, killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million and destroying an estimated 12 billion pesos ($27 4 million) worth of crops and infrastructure .”
One of Stichting Kapatiran’s nine Basic Literacy Programs is located in Daanbantayan, on the northern tip of the island of Cebu. The estimated travel distance from Cebu City, the capital of the island province is around 125 km. It is a charming coastal town where fishing is one of the mainstays of the population. It has pristine beaches not yet crowded by tourists.
Thirty of the 375 Basic Literacy Program beneficiaries this school year come from this coastal town.
A CNN report quotes Dennis Chiong, operations officer for the province’s disaster risk and emergency management, “Most of Cebu province couldn’t be contacted by landlines, cell phones or radio until the following day.”
“Among the early reports is how one inaccessible town, Daanbantayan, has more than 3,000 residents who “badly need food, water and shelter because most of the houses there are damaged due to the storm,” Chiong said.
As of 13th November Daanbantayan was one of the 77 underserved areas, according to another source, which means that the Philippine government agencies nor NGO-relief organisations were not able to deliver the much needed help to the people of Daanbantayan.
The pictures accompanying this article shows the devastation caused by Haiyan in Daanbantayan. They reached Stichting Kapatiran through a circuitous road. The sister of the wife of the BLP Coordinator Jhocon living in Cebu City was requested to travel to Daanbantayan to locate the pupils and take pictures of what remain of their houses.