THIS EMERGENCY REHABILITATION APPEAL SEEKS CHF 853,000 (USD 692,989 OR EUR 544,144) IN CASH, KIND OR SERVICES TO ASSIST 565 HOMELESS FAMILIES FOR SIX MONTHS
The monsoon rains that afflicted the Philippines - one of the world's most disaster prone countries - for much of last month severely affected five municipalities in the province of Southern Leyte and four provinces in the Caraga region of Mindanao island. Validated reports received by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) indicate that almost 150,000 people (28,000 families) were hit by the disaster - floods and landslides - leaving 174 people dead and 60 others injured. Damage to infrastructure, agriculture and property across the disaster zone is estimated at CHF 16.3 million.
Of the affected provinces, Southern Leyte, with a population of 350,000 occupying 17 municipalities and one city, was worst hit, suffering the highest number of casualties - including 154 people killed - and houses destroyed. On 19 December 2003, the heavy rainfall caused three major landslides in the province, affecting twelve 12 barangays (villages) in three municipalities of Liloan, San Francisco and San Ricardo. Flooding also occurred in the municipalities of Pintuyan and Malitbog and the capital city of Maasin. Detailed assessments indicate that there are 1,029 families worst affected (5,290 persons) in these stricken areas.
In particular, in the municipalities of Liloan, San Francisco and San Ricardo - on which the activities described in this appeal centre - 227 houses are totally destroyed, with another 338 houses (565 in total) virtually uninhabitable without major repair. Many of the homeless have found temporary accommodation of varying quality, with 180 families sheltered in six evacuation camps (mainly schools) in four municipalities, though with the beginning of the school activities early this month, this group are having to be reallocated to other provisional shelters.
This area of the Philippines is among the country's most remote and inaccessible, with poor roads and limited transport and communications links. This lack of infrastructure - and the severe damage to facilities already in place - slowed the disaster response from outside the immediate vicinity and severely hampered assessments missions charged with examining the longer-term needs.
The extent of damage has meant another burden not only for the victims, but also to the municipal government, which is currently facing economic difficulty since the damage to infrastructure entails an extensive budget appropriation for repair and rehabilitation. For the homeless families themselves, the outlook going into 2004 is indeed bleak, following this latest catastrophe, coupled with an economic recession in the region, without timely and adequate assistance to help them back on their feet.
(pdf* format - 58.9 KB)