Bringing Help, Hope and H2O: Providing Clean Water for Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

Our emergency response teams bring much-needed clean water to a vulnerable village in Capiz Province.
Villagers in Dayhagan shovel sand for the water tap's foundation. Photo: ACF-Philippines, L. Grosjean

Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation has affected more than thirteen million people across nine regions of the Philippines. In Capiz, one of the hardest-hit areas, nearly 700,000 people have been affected. One of the most vulnerable places in Capiz is the small coastal village of Dayhagan—here, the typhoon destroyed hundreds of people’s homes and livelihoods, and contaminated their water supply. As Action Against Hunger scales up relief efforts in Capiz, one of our first priorities is to restore access to clean water for the people of Dayhagan.

Restoring access to clean water in Dayhagan

Our team of water, sanitation and hygiene experts brought in supplies from Manila to construct a water point using a “bladder,” a large water tank that resembles a water bed. We decided to install it right next to the local health center, which is now doubling as an evacuation center for displaced families. This new water source will help people like Kema Bergera, a 40-year-old resident of Dayhagan who lost everything in the storm. She describes how the typhoon affected her family:

“Here in Dayhagan, almost all of us are fishermen. My family lost our boat and our home in the typhoon, and at the moment we do not have the money for repairs. We have nothing. For now, we’re staying in the village health center with other affected families. I don’t know how long we’ll have to stay in the evacuation center. Fortunately, there is a lot of solidarity in the village.”

– Kema Bergera, 40, Typhoon Haiyan survivor, Dayhagan

A successful step towards recovery

The solidarity in the village that Kema talks about is important, because even in times of emergency, we promote community involvement during recovery. A few villagers helped our teams construct a platform for the water tap using sand from a nearby beach as a part of the foundation. The rest of the villagers helped however they could—some made containers to hold the sand, while others added small stones under the tap to prevent the area from getting muddy. Some people, like Kema, simply welcomed us to the village and watched excitedly as we worked.

When the municipality’s fire truck arrives, carrying water from a treatment plant, the whole village lends a hand to help fill the tank. They marvel at the “bladder” as it fills up with clean water, and line up to test the new taps. Excitement builds—they have not had any safe water to drink since the storm hit. As the water starts to flow, villagers applaud, and children splash and play in the water: the people of Dayhagan are celebrating their first step towards recovery.


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About Lucile Grosjean

Lucile manages emergency communications for Action Against Hunger, traveling to and reporting from areas of active conflict where humanitarian needs are great.