Goni left thousands of families homeless and more children at risk

Typhoon Goni (local name Rolly) exits the country, leaving a huge trail of destruction in the provinces of southern Luzon, particularly the Bicol region. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that at least 2 million people have been affected, including 500,000 displaced and sheltered in various evacuation centers and schools.

Child-focused NGO World Vision immediately responds to the hard-hit areas of Albay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur to assess the actual situation and needs of affected families, especially the children who are not only reeling from the impact of the typhoon, but have become more vulnerable to various risks including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coping from one disaster to another could trigger distress, especially for those who have lost their homes, loved ones and have witnessed the fury of Goni which brought giant mudflow and flash floods in their areas.

Jobert, 5

5-year old Jobert’s house was completely destroyed by volcanic rocks, mudflow and flash flood. Although most of his family members, including his puppy, Buldog, were able to evacuate prior the typhoon’s onslaught, his father went back to secure their house. His mother, Jocelyn, shared how Jobert kept shouting his father’s name in the morning of Goni’s landfall. Fortunately, he came back alive.

“I don’t want to go back to our old place because I am afraid of the big rocks and mud,” Jobert shares. The family is currently staying in an evacuation center, along with over 300 families whose houses were also buried by the destructive lahar.

Rose Ann, 11

“I worry about school. My mother was able to secure my modules but my school supplies are all gone. We were able to evacuate but the water from the sea and the strong winds came for our house. When we went back after the typhoon, all the homes in our neighborhood were all destroyed. My father is trying to build a temporary shelter for us, using what’s left of our house.”

Rose Ann’s father is a pedicab driver, earning around Php200 each day. His income was affected when COVID-19 happened, restricting the movement of the community members, especially for non-essential travels.

“It’s difficult to start again. Our priority is to feed our three children and ensure that we have a roof over our heads. It would be difficult to provide all their needs, including their needs for their education,” shares Rose Ann’s mother, Mary Rose.

Mico, 11

“I still dream about how we escaped the lahar. Papa said we need to go to a higher ground so we kept running I was afraid. I thought we won’t survive,” Mico recalls.

His recurring dream about the onslaught of typhoon Goni that triggered flash flood and mudflow still makes him afraid. Their whole family survived but their house is now buried in mud.

World Vision, as part of its emergency response, looks into providing emergency essentials in the hard-hit communities of Guinobatan and Tiwi, one of the Goni’s landfall sites. Relief items to be provided include hygiene kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, bath and laundry soaps, underwear for both children and adults, nail cutter, sanitary pads, malong), other non-food items like mosquito net, plastic mats, fleece blanket and collapsible water containers. Emergency shelter kit (tarpaulins and rope), especially for those whose houses were totally damaged will also provided.