This was a truly terrifying event. In Tacloban, a mother with two small children, who works selling fish with her fisherman husband, said it was like a tsunami when the storm hit. “Many storms have passed here. But we did not expect a storm that brought a “tsunami” with it. We only know of rain and wind. We did not expect the sea would devour the land.”
Oxfam already has teams of experts on the ground in three locations and the target is to reach half a million people with emergency assistance. Oxfam needs your help. Its priorities will be to reach the most vulnerable families with safe water and sanitation facilities to help protect people from disease.
The most immediate needs on the ground are food, clean water and sanitation as well as emergency shelter. Whilst the full response to this Typhoon will take some time, the initial phase lasting approximately six weeks will be critical for the affected communities.
In the first six weeks Oxfam aims to reach at least 20,000 families with emergency relief, including: Water kits and hygiene kits for 100,000 people; 1,000 communal temporary latrines; 100 sets of latrine cleaning kits and 100 hand-washing stations; Mobile water treatment units with generators and fuel; 10,000, 20,000 and 45,000 litre water storage units; Treatment and/or repair for 50 water points (hand pump or spring box), as needed; Water quality testing of 200 alternative drinking water sources – hand pumps, natural springs; Training in safe water practices, prevention of diarrhoea, and maintenance of water facilities; General debris clean-up.
Sixteen tonnes of aid, worth close to USD $200,000, will soon be shipped directly to Cebu, one of the worst affected islands. In addition, more than 10,000 hygiene kits are also being shipped to Cebu from the regional centre in Manila as well as basic equipment like jerry cans.
These first days and weeks are so important. The sooner we can reach people with these basic essentials, the better chance they will have of surviving and rebuilding their lives. For the communities impacted by this disaster, your support is crucial, so please donate today.