PHILIPPINE FLOODS, AUGUST 2012
Typhoon Saola, as has been widely reported in the international press, triggered exceptional monsoon rainfall in the Philippines on 6-7th August. Manila and its surrounding suburbs, with their densely populated low-lying districts, were particularly badly hit. Over 50% of the Metropolitan area was flooded – sometimes up to neck-height. Around 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes, many of which have been badly damaged by the water.
FH Philippines staff and their families were also affected. Debbie Toribio, FHP’s Country Director, sent a personal report with these comments:
“ I took this photo in my parents’ house. The water started to rise at 5 am. When they woke up they just saw their things floating. Our place gets flooded in strong rains but water easily subsides. But this time, the water remains and continues to rise.” (email, 7th Aug.)
From the first days of flooding, Food for the Hungry has been supporting local churches in their relief efforts for those most badly affected. Our response has focused on poor communities where FH Philippines has long-term relationships with local leaders and churches.
Immediate grants from FH and FH Canada have enabled FHP to support local churches and volunteers who are distributing clean water, hygiene kits and sleeping gear as well as supplying feeding centers with both cooked and ready-to-eat food. In addition, FHP and their partners have already set up a medical clinic in one critically affected district where high incidence of disease has occurred, particlarly among children.
The next challenge will be to help those families whose homes were completely destroyed to start rebuilding their houses – and their lives.