Completion of renovation and reconstruction of 96 classrooms in 9 schools
The reconstruction aid project of the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS), which has supported the central Philippines 3 years ago, where there was huge damage by ‘Haiyan’; the super typhoon in November will be completed by the end of this year. 96 classrooms in 9 schools have been renovated and reconstruction on Leyte Island was completed this July. Lessons have started in new school buildings. An overall reconstruction aid project is making a final push toward urban development in 5 villages of the northern area of Cebu Island.
A move towards safety and health management
Many people were killed and houses and public complexes were destroyed by fierce rainstorms and the tidal wave of the No. 30 Typhoon in 2013. JRCS has promoted reconstruction aid projects with 3-year-planned cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross.
The target for renovation and reconstruction of school facilities was Tacloban city and surrounding areas on Leyte Island where many schools and buildings were destroyed by rainstorms and flooding. Making good use of relief funds of about 200 million yen collected in Japan, 20 classrooms which had been completely destroyed have been reconstructed and 76 classrooms whose roofs and pillars were broken have been restored.
JRCS assigned building engineer, Minoru Fujii, who gave technical advice to firms responsible for construction and negotiated and coordinated with the schools. Fujii says, ‘Construction has been completed with no accidents and students are able to learn again. I’m happy if the workers make use of this knowledge of safety and health management at the next construction site.’
Students who had been having their lessons in the temporary classrooms were able to begin lessons in their original classrooms for the first time in 3 years.
Rebuilding for a better life
On Cebu island, which prospers from tourism, many inhabitants of the northern farming villages which were destroyed by the typhoon were of lower income and the daily life infrastructure was poor. With the current overall reconstruction aid project, JRCS has tackled 5 fields: housing, health, sanitation, Disaster Risk Reduction and livelihood. The project is underway with the inhabitant volunteers, endeavoring to, not only ‘return to the previous way of life,’ but also to try to keep damage to a minimum in the region in the event of another future disaster.
This April in Daanbantayan County on the northern tip of Cebu Island JRCS was responsible for the reconstruction of 135 houses and renovation of 778 houses of the disaster victims. Tapel, whose house was completely destroyed in the typhoon, delivered his appreciation message with tears over and over again, ‘Now we can live with our children in this house. This makes us very happy, thank you. ’ Also, an assessment was carried out at the 5 afflicted villages concerning sewage water, disposal of waste, and unclean water being the outbreak of infectious diseases. Workshops will be held with the inhabitants regarding these problems. Creation of a disaster prevention map was also recommended. The JRCS reconstruction project enters its final phase trying to make the local area an attractive, comfortable, and safe place to live.