Haiyan reconstruction may take 5 years: CRS

Two months after the typhoon, survivors continue to clear up debris in the coastal village of Sagkahan in Tacloban City. They are under the cash-for-work programme initiated by CRS.

Philippines
Jan 15 2014, 2:51 PM
Haiyan reconstruction may take 5 years: CRS
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan carry materials to fix their house in Tacloban City.

Rebuilding areas ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Samar and Leyte may take up to five years, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, has said.

Two months after the typhoon, survivors continue to clear up debris in the coastal village of Sagkahan in Tacloban City. They are under the cash-for-work programme initiated by CRS.

CRS said its relief effort has shifted from emergency assistance to long-term recovery and stability programmes. The agency has committed to assist 100,000 families or 500,000 people with shelter, living supplies, water, sanitation and livelihood.

“We will focus on Leyte and Samar islands, primarily in the areas of Palo, Tacloban, Ormoc and Eastern Samar. CRS has committed to raising $50 million,” it said.

According to the agency, the distribution of food assistance is decreasing two months after the typhoon, pressuring the people to start earning an income.

Coconut farmers and fishermen have taken the biggest hit to their livelihoods. New coconut trees will take 5 to 7 years to mature and boats are costly to rebuild, CRS said.

“More than one-third of the Philippines’ labour force depends on agriculture for income. With land and crops devastated, we plan to help people recover their agricultural and fishing assets,” it said.

Though many survivors start rebuilding homes, the agency said that the need for durable building materials was high as some of them were only using what they have gathered from the rubble.

It said that removing thousands of fallen coconut trees was a major challenge as heavy equipment would be required.

CRS has provided cash-for-work opportunities to people who work in clearing debris left by the typhoon in public places. The agency is also training carpenters to work with community members to build shelters and supplying them with essential carpentry tools including saws and hammers.

To date, CRS has provided 40,000 families or 200,000 people with emergency shelter, potable water and sanitation, apart from clearing debris.

“We will soon begin to support permanent housing solutions that use local materials, as well as corrugated iron sheets to construct homes of more durable, disaster-resistant materials,” CRS said.

Source: CBCP News

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