KOICA, UNDP help communities “build back better” after Typhoon YolandaMar 17, 2017
17 March 2017 – “Building back better” has become the standard in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following the devastation from Typhoon Yolanda in the Eastern Visayas region more than three years ago.
Communities in Eastern Visayas, including in Samar and Eastern Samar, now have more disaster-resilient infrastructure and livelihood with the support of the government and international development partners like the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Following Typhoon Yolanda, KOICA provided Php152 million (US$3.18 million) to strengthen the environmental and economic resilience of the affected communities in Basey (Samar), Guiuan (Eastern Samar) and Hernani (Eastern Samar).
KOICA’s assistance helped improve waste management systems, increased access to vocational training and cash-for-livelihood opportunities, and enhanced community disaster preparedness through construction of disaster-resilient infrastructure such as housing units and community evacuation centres.
KOICA’s Country Director Shin Myung Seop and UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra
turned over today the 67 permanent shelters and a community evacuation center (CEC) in Basey and the Eco-Waste Management (EWM) Center in Guiuan.
The 67 permanent shelters, located in Barangay New San Agustin in Basey, are provided with a Level III water system, and fitted with toilet and electrical supply facilities. The shelters are designed to withstand Category 5 typhoons with excessive wind speeds and heavy rainfall.
The CEC, located in Sitio Bangon, Brgy. Canmanila, is the first permanent and disaster resilient evacuation center in the municipality. It will also serve as a command center of the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and training venue for calamity drills and other disaster preparedness activities.
The CEC has its own solar power system and generator for backup power, and are also provided with water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The community evacuation centers will also as sites for livelihood or other community activities and will be maximised even when there are no disasters.
In Guiuan, the EWM Center was developed over a 1.9-hectare property owned by the local government unit. The Center consists of a materials recovery facility, a windrow and vermicomposting area, a containment chamber for medical wastes, a demo farm, and a green area / nursery.
Mr Shin Myung Seop said, “The Filipinos’ resilience is remarkable and their commitment to build back better after Typhoon Yolanda is inspiring. The Korean Government is pleased to be part of this recovery and rehabilitation efforts and we hope that our contribution will go a long way to secure a safer future for the Filipinos.”
“Hazards like floods, severe wind and typhoons are forces of nature – we cannot stop these from happening, but we can act to prevent the deaths, hardship and economic damage these hazards can cause. We hope that with these disaster-resilient infrastructure and more stable support for people’s livelihoods, we can prevent or at the least lessen the impacts of disasters to the communities,” Mr Mitra said.