Surviving Typhoon Haiyan: "Things Are Starting to Get Better."

Condora Acosta, a resident of Tacloban, receives essential water and sanitation supplies from our emergency response teams.
Condora Acosta with her nephew, 20-month-old Yen Lestor, at their community church. Photo: ACF-Philippines, L. Grosjean

Condora Acosta, a resident of Tacloban, rocks her 20-month-old nephew, Lestor Yen, as she waits to receive a hygiene kit from Action Against Hunger’s emergency response teams. Condora is one of many survivors who sought refuge at her local church after Typhoon Haiyan devastated her community.

The urgent need for safe sanitation

Condora explains that she lost her home in the floods, as well as her shop, which was her main source of income:

“Before the typhoon, I had a little shop. But I lost all my stock in the storm, so I have no source of income. It will take time to rebuild my store, and my home. One of my family members is starting to build a shelter in the ruins of our house. I hope we can go back soon. For now, we’ll stay at the church. It will take time for us to get back on our feet. For the moment, we are totally dependent on humanitarian aid.” 

- Condora Acosta, Typhoon Haiyan survivor, Tacloban

She worries about Lestor, who's suffering from diarrhea. He's not the only one who has fallen ill—all around Tacloban, cases of waterborne diseases are increasing because displaced families lack access to clean water and proper hygiene solutions. That's why we're distributing hygiene kits that contain essential sanitary materials such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, a bucket, laundry detergent, and water purification tablets.

A team effort to provide essentials

This hygiene kit distribution is truly a team effort. We worked with the church’s priest and other community leaders to make a list of nearly 300 families—including Condora’s family—that were staying at the church and needed hygiene kits. The kits themselves were supplied by UNICEF and brought in on trucks provided by the Philippine government. And while our first responders ran the distribution of supplies, volunteers from the community kept the lines orderly and made sure all families were well-informed. Thanks to everyone’s resourcefulness and collaboration, this hygiene kit distribution was a huge success.

Condora returns to her family's spot in the church after receiving her bucket of hygiene supplies. There, Yen plays with his cousins on a toy xylophone recovered from the rubble of their home. As she listens to the children playing, Condora smiles and says happily:

"This is the first time I have seen him play since the typhoon hit. This is great! Things are starting to get better. Life is getting back to normal."

- Condora Acosta, Typhoon Haiyan survivor, Tacloban

Our teams are scaling up hygiene kit distributions in Condora’s hometown of Tacloban so that more families like hers can have access to basic necessities. Our goal is to reach 650,000 families in the first phase of emergency relief. Your ongoing support can help these vulnerable families stay healthy so they can begin to rebuild their lives.