Though 12 months have passed, there are still countless issues that remain unaddressed.
There are still multiple Tent Cities throughout the island of Leyte, where families remain living in tents distributed by the UN within a month of Typhoon Haiyan. The tents continue to deteriorate and the families continue to wait for permanent relocation sites to move to.
Many households remain without Electricity. Thankfully, survivors got used to going without electricity and turned to solar lamps for power very early on, but one year later the absence of electricity is becoming a forced lifestyle for many.
Individuals residing in Bunk Houses that were some of the first temporary housing facilities contructed in the area, face leaky roofs, extreme heat, and a complete lack of personal space. What was meant to be temporary, has become more permanent, and families are wondering how they will ever rebuild their lives when they can’t truly settle in to a new place to call home.
Those who have been lucky enough to be relocated, to bunkhouses, temporary relocation sites away from the coastline, or in newly built permanent housing coumpounds, still struggle to find a source of Livelihood once again. These families continue to survive on relief goods and the small bits of income they can scrounge for daily.
Patience is indeed a virtue for survivors. If waiting weeks to receive relief goods didn’t test their patience enough, the National Government literally just approved a portion of the budget to be allocatted to the Local Government to utilize for reconstruction efforts. The pace of Relief from the National Government is unacceptable to say the least, which has led to Enormous Delays in Permanent Housing Construction.
To date, there remains no significant focus on construction of an Evacuation Center for the City. Though some neighborhoods have been lucky enough to have their schools rebuilt to stand two storeys high, which will inevitably provide more safety for many of the residents in those areas. The Tacloban City Astrodome, which served as the city’s evacuation center despite being located directly on the coast, remains in shambles with no clear signs of being a safe place to ride out future storms, though it did save hundreds of lives during the Typhoon.
Locals still have no clear idea of what they should actually do if another typhoon happens. Though in some neighborhoods some INGOs or local government units may have hosted disaster preparedness trainings or informational sessions to increase awareness, the cities and towns as a whole are still without a Proper Disaster Plan. Only time will tell if people will know what do when the next typhoon comes.
Through these 30 Days of Typhoon Yolanda, our goal was to educate, raise awareness, and bring more support to survivors, who remain in need One Year After the Storm. To end this series, we’d like to illustrate the immense progress, but allowing the pictures to speak for themselves.