In addition to the immediate relief provided by Disaster Aid International, the group is now well into its main deployment plan.
After careful assessment of need and operational issues, DAI is deploying in two areas on Panay Island; Estancia and President Roxas. Estancia is a coastal municipality which has not only been badly hit by the typhoon and also by a major oil spill that resulted. It also includes a number of islands which have been particularly badly hit. President Roxas is in the North of Panay and has been very badly hit.
DAI will continue to work with Balay Mindanaw and Johanniter, which means that it will be working within a partnership which will provide a wider set of aid and services, including psychosocial services, distribution, manpower and food packs. While Christine Cassar returned to the UK on 1 December, she is being replaced by two other members of the Disaster Aid Response Team to join Ed Cox who has remained on site. The Team will also be working with volunteers from the local Rotary Club of Iloilo Metro
As a result of the assessment, it emerged that the Family Survival Kits were not appropriate in all circumstances. An important factor was the fact that most families refused to leave their demolished or damaged homes because they knew that, if they were relocated, they would loose their claim on their land. Given the compact nature of their villages, there was often no physical space to put up tents in close proximity to their original homes. Given the mission of DIA to rebuild communities sustainably, the decision has been taken to replace some of the Family Survival Kits with 500 Shelter Repair Kits (made up of roofing palm, lumber, marine plywood, nails, hammer and bamboo rope). A further 500 kits are being sourced at this time and it is hoped that DAI will be in a position to pay for a further 1000 kits during this deployment. These kits will be resourced locally under the supervision of DAI. The current kits will be complemented with 10,000 tarpaulin sheets.
It is anticipated that the current deployment will be completed by the end of December. However, five other areas on Panay have been identified as being in need of support. A decision will be made on 15 December to what extent the deployment can be extended depending upon the availability of funds.
DAUK&I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many who have come forward to support this deployment and enabled us to be responsive to the real needs of those affected. From DAI’s previous three deployments in the Philippines, it is known that the Philippinos are incredibly resilient and can work wonders in rebuilding their communities. However, no one has had experience of the level of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.