Flood-affected families happy to receive aid
It’s almost two weeks since Typhoon Josie left the Philippines but flood-affected families are still reeling from the impact it left them. After days of sleeping in an evacuation center, families would go back to their house, start cleaning the dirt the floodwater left. Farmers would usually lose their crops and animals. Without these main sources of livelihood, families usually experience difficulty starting again.
Ana Marie, 32, a mother of four kids, has been living in a flood-prone community for 16 years. Her house, along with that of her relatives, is surrounded by farmlands. “Every time there is a typhoon or continuous raining, we ready ourselves to evacuate. Evacuating has been part of my family’s life,” she said.
The evacuation center is Ana’s second home. She doesn’t mind sleeping and doing family chores with less privacy. Even her children have grown accustomed to it and spend days playing with other children.
“We lost one of our goats. We don’t know where it went or if someone stole it,” she said.
Her husband, Crescencio, 36, make a living by buying and selling livestock. He earns between Php1,500 to Php3,000 a week on average. “Animals killed or lost means lost income for us,” Ana said. Buying an animal costs around Php200.
Ana said she usually spends Php500 a day to provide for her family’s basic needs. “With that amount, life is not always easy for us,” she said.
Helping the families
The local government of municipality of Bugallon, Pangasinan provided families with food and other basic necessities. Rescue vehicles and staff were readily deployed to several communities to assist families caught in the middle of the rising floodwater.
Knowing the difficulties families in Ana’s town experience after each calamity, World Vision provides them with financial assistance worth Php2,000. Ana, who is also a World Vision volunteer for nearly three years, was happy.
She immediately bought a sack of rice, noodles, vitamins for her children, and a new uniform for her child. “The amount helps us to have food on the table as we still recuperate from the recent calamity,” Ana said. Her husband has also started selling what remains of their livestock.
Her neighbor, Leonardo, a balut (boiled duck egg) vendor and father of nine children, is also happy to receive cash assistance from World Vision. “We used the money for my wife’s hospitalization. World Vision’s assistance was just in time,” Leonardo said.
His wife, Nina, 39, just give birth a few days ago. She suffered from pain after giving birth that she was rushed back again to the hospital. “I don’t know where else to get money after my wife’s recent birth,” he added.
World Vision assisted around 600 flood-affected families in Bugallon, Pangasinan recently.
The continuous rainy days flooded more than 700 communities in the country forcing local government officials in 20 areas to declare the state of calamity. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) reported more than 1.6 million affected individuals in Luzon and Visayas.
—World Vision/August 7, 2018