Children, families find hope after Agusan flood

Best friends Christian and Totong share a lighthearted moment despite the destruction bought by the floods in Agusan del Sur.

 

4-year old Christian's giggle is endearing.

 

"I’m happy I get to play with my friends now," he shares.

 

His best friend Totong, also 4 years old, joins the conversation. "Nahilak ko katong naay baha. Apil pud siya nahilak (I cried during the flooding. He also cried)," he laughs, teasing Christian. 

 

The two friends are now engrossed in a conversation, talking like a disaster did not recently happen. They sit on a pile of logs that completely destroyed the corn field near the river. The debris are all over. This has become their playground in the past days. 

 

Christian says he was taken to his grandparents' house before the river overflowed.

 

"He wouldn't stop crying. He was looking for us at about midnight, they rode a makeshift boat made of bamboos put together, and headed to the village hall," explains Charlita, Christian's mother.

 

Totong, on the other hand, stayed at home with his parents. "Look at our house," he points to a 2-storey house made of light materials. The floodwater, which reached to about 8 feet high, is still evident in the wood marks.

 

For the whole night, the community of San Patricio feared of drowning. They say it is the worst flooding they have experienced. From 10 pm ‘til midnight, numbers of makeshift boats floated along the flooded roads, with families trying to escape the river's wrath. 

 

Coping

 

The floods not only destroyed corn and rice fields. It also washed out houses, damaged structures and rendered the community's only source of water useless. 

 

World Vision’s response team braved the knee-length muddied road to reach out to the communities. The flood has subsided but the people are still reeling from its aftermath. Members of the community say they are already able to get drinking water from the spring although some are still hesitant to drink from it.

 

 

"These water packets will sustain us in the next month as we wait for the spring to fully be cleared from the flooding," says Charlita.

 

Aside from water purifier kit that includes P&G water purifier packets, jerry cans and filter cloth, World Vision also provided hygiene kits and a solar lamp.

 

“Thank you! I’m no longer afraid and I can already brush my teeth,” ends Christian. He says he loves the toothbrush his mother received.World Vision/February 22, 2017

 

 

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