A house for Jawin
10-year old Jawin is excited to have their house repaired after typhoon Ompong (International name Mangkhut) badly damaged it last September.“We will have a bigger space again soon,” he exclaims. With a maximum sustained winds of 205km per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 285km/h, Ompong has decimated more than 200,000 houses in Northern Luzon and left a Php26B (USD535) worth of damage in agriculture.
Damaged house, destroyed crops and compounded debt
Jawin’s father, Edwin, is a tricycle driver who earns about P200 ($4) each day while Jocelyn is a housekeeper. Aside from driving, Edwin farms a .25 hectare rice field but gives a portion of his harvest to the landowner. He usually borrows money for his farm inputs at a loan interest of 3%. With the extent of damage caused by the disaster, he fears that he will only get around five (5) sacks of share instead of the usual 10 sacks and would not be able to pay off his loan.
Two years prior Ompong, the family also took the blow of super typhoon Haima, leaving them with no choice but to borrow money to partially repair their then damaged house. In July 2018, Jocelyn gave birth to baby Jenica, costing them P28,000 $560) for cesarean delivery.“We haven’t even recovered from the wrath of typhoon Lawin in 2016, and now this,” Edwin shares.
The day after Ompong made landfall, Edwin immediately salvaged whatever he can and tried to put things together so they can have a space of their own. It’s not easy living in a limited area but it’s harder to live in a relative’s house especially when you have a 3-month old baby, he said.
World Vision’s response
World Vision started working in their community in Alcala, Cagayan, days after Ompong hit land. Initial intervention included provision of kitchen sets and other non-food items like blanket, plastic mats and mosquito net, to complement the government’s relief efforts.
Recently, Jawin’s family received shelter repair materials that include eight (8) corrugated iron sheets and six (6) pieces of plywood. They were also provided with cash voucher worth Php1300 intended for other shelter material needs.
“An iron sheet with good quality costs around 500 while a plywood is usually around P1000 per piece. The materials we received are more than two months’ worth of what I get from driving. I am grateful because the house that I was trying to fully repair for two years will be done in just a week,” shares Edwin. This will also save him from borrowing more money and getting trapped in a cycle of debt.
To further help families like them, World Vision provides labour support through cash-for-labour intervention. In the community consultation conducted by the organisation before the distributions, shelter beneficiaries have decided to do bayanihan to ensure that their houses will be completed the soonest time possible. Each beneficiary will receive P2500 after five 5 days of work. World Vision has also hired skilled carpenters to provide guidance and help the families in the rebuilding works.
“I am excited to have our house back – this time even better. I want my children to grow in our own home, where they can freely run around and where they will feel safe,” says Edwin. I also now feel more confident that I can provide for my children’s needs in school in the next days, he added.
Jawin, who is on school break for a week, spends his time playing with other kids but when the clock hits 10, he makes sure that he is there to give water and snacks to the volunteers and carpenters working on their house.
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