One Week After Typhoon Haiyan, Racing to Restore Water Systems, Prevent Disease
One week ago, Typhoon Haiyan—the deadliest typhoon to ever make landfall—struck the Philippines, leaving a massive humanitarian disaster in its wake: it is now estimated that nearly thirteen million people have been affected across nine regions, four million of whom have lost their homes. In this first critical week, Action Against Hunger’s teams have strengthened relief efforts for survivors in Tacloban and Capiz, two of the areas hit hardest by the storm. Our goal in the first phase of emergency response is to provide lifesaving assistance to 650,000 displaced people.
Improving access to safe water
Our first priority is providing people with clean water. Over the weekend, our teams of first responders distributed 2,000 emergency hygiene kits to some 10,000 displaced residents in Tacloban. These hygiene kits contain chlorine tablets, soap, and other sanitary materials to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera. In the coming weeks, our teams plan to distribute 30,000 additional hygiene kits, ensuring that another 4,000 families have access to safe water and sanitation solutions.
In addition to distributing hygiene kits, our water and sanitation experts are working to restore Tacloban’s water and sanitation systems, which were severely damaged in the storm. Four water purification stations are also being installed, and Pablo Mayor, our Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the Philippines, is confident that these recent developments will greatly improve people’s access to safe water:
“This is good news. Access to safe drinking water should be restored quickly, and will be supplemented by the emergency hygiene kits and water purification stations.”
– Pablo Mayor, Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Action Against Hunger, Philippines
More supplies on the way
While our experts are working to provide access to clean water in Tacloban, our teams in Cebu continue to receive shipments of emergency materials. Three more planes stocked with supplies left for Cebu over the weekend and are expected to arrive within days. Logistics have greatly improved over the past few days, making it easier for us to receive supplies and deliver aid to those most in need.
We’ve made significant progress since the storm hit last week, but there is still much to be done. Over the next few weeks, we will continue scale up relief efforts, providing more affected people with clean water and other basic necessities. Your ongoing support can help us reach thousands of families who are in desperate need of help.