MANILA/HO CHI MINH, 23rd December 2009: By the new year, Habitat for Humanity Philippines should have distributed more than 1,800 shelter repair kits to families affected by Typhoon Ketsana in the Metro Manila cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Pangasinan, Bulacan and Rizal.
The kits include basic roofing materials, plywood sheeting, nails, bags of cement, toilet fixtures, light bulbs and other materials that help families to repair their homes.
One beneficiary is Randy Mangandi of Malanday village. The second floor of his home was damaged and the ceiling torn off by the storm. Flood waters carried away the family's possessions including money and jewelry. Mangandi said the kit was a big help as he would have taken a longer time to repair his home. A food vendor, Mangandi's meager earnings are barely enough to feed his family, let alone repair his house.
The home of another beneficiary, Espy Ilingan, was submerged at the height of the floods caused by Typhoon Ketsana. Her family had to leave their home and run to an evacuation center. A concrete shell was all that was left of Ilingan's former house. She was thankful for the Habitat shelter kit which her family used to repair their house and to add a second story as an evacuation point in the event of another storm.
HFH Philippines continues to meet the sanitation needs of families who are still not able to return to their homes. It has completed 170 toilets and bathing stations in 18 evacuation centers, and is currently working on 86 more toilets and 56 bathing facilities in Cabuyao, Calamba, and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
While the relief efforts have shifted to reconstruction and rehabilitation, there are still areas in the south of Metro Manila which are in immediate need of sanitation facilities. In a partnership with Save the Children, funded by the USAID (United States Agency for International Development), HFH Philippines is building 190 toilets and 60 bathing facilities in Muntinlupa and Laguna.
HFH Philippines is targeting to help repair 10,000 homes through the distribution of shelter repair kits at US$150 per unit and with the assistance of volunteers over the next six months. HFH Philippines also plans to build 2,000 transitional shelters and, later, 4,000 "core house" shelters which will be constructed in relocation areas or on-site where it is safe and legal to rebuild.
It has received donations and commitments from the government's Department of Social Welfare and Development, The Charitable Foundation through HFH Australia, MoneyGram, Biomin, HFH Korea, Emerson, JP Morgan, Chevron, Omicron Consulting Group, among others.
Typhoon Ketsana, locally known as "Ondoy", slammed into Metro Manila and parts of Central and Southern Luzon on 26th September, bringing a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours and putting about 80 per cent of Manila underwater. More than 153,000 houses were damaged. It was followed over the next month by two more major typhoons -Typhoon Parma ("Pepeng") and Mirinae ("Santi"). The three typhoons affected more than two million families. More than 1,000 people were reported to have been killed or are missing.
Over in Vietnam, which was also hit by Typhoon Ketsana, Habitat is assisting affected families to repair their homes through the distribution of roofing materials.
In the first phase of its disaster recovery plan, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam has distributed roofing materials to nearly 600 families in five communes in central Vietnam. Of these families, about 10 percent are single mothers and farmers who work in rice fields. As these families are unable to repair their homes on their own, Habitat construction staff and local commune residents are lending a hand with the repairs.
In addition to steel roofing sheets, the repair kits include wires and screws that are used to anchor the sheets to roof frames, making the roofs and houses much more secure against the threat of heavy rains and high winds.
Families also benefit from training in proper roof construction and Habitat's technical assistance to ensure the repairs are made according to acceptable standards.
HFH Vietnam continues to seek funding to increase its efforts to help affected families, through disaster mitigation training and interventions as well as major home renovations.
Initial funding for the recovery project has come from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and corporations such as ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Vietnam, Schneider Electric Vietnam and Holcim Cement. Also vital to the success of the project are partnerships with local government entities and non-governmental organizations such as East Meets West and the Red Cross.
Typhoon Ketsana struck the central coast of Vietnam on 29th September, following a devastating passage across the Philippines. The storm center made landfall about 80 km south of Danang, Vietnam's fourth largest city. High winds and torrential rains damaged and flooded nearly 600,000 houses in eight coastal and central highland provinces, according to the government's Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control. In Quang Nam province, more than 15,000 houses collapsed and 155,000 houses suffered roof damage from the storm.