DISASTER AID AUSTRALIA Newsletter 26th January 2014

 
NEWS UPDATE 26 January 2014
Rebuilding communities in the Philippines goes on ... and on
 
Right on the heel of a horrendous October earthquake, the Philippines was ravaged the following month by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the "deadliest Philippines Typhoon on record" that killed over 6,000 with bodies still being found.
And, Disaster Aid Australia ('DAA'), a Rotary Club project and part of Disaster Aid International ('DAI') has been on the ground since, with volunteer DARTs (Disaster Aid Response Team members) working with respected local NGO, Balay Mindanaw Foundation ('BMF') in the Bohol Island region that was devastated by these unprecedented events.
Disaster Aid International chairman, PP David Langworthy (RC Endeavour Hills, D9820 Vic.) visited the Philippines earlier this month and brief extracts of his report are in this update.
It makes compelling reading and once again demonstrates the ongoing, direct and selfless involvement of so many Rotarian volunteers.

1 Latest report from the Philippines
1.1 DAI has now provided shelter and assisted more than 10,000 families, and is actively engaged in providing vital Home Repair Kits – more than 1,000 so far delivered, AND installed. That is in response to the question we asked at the outset, "please tell us, what do you need most?" The materials for those kits – lumber, tools, nails, tarps, galvanised iron and so on – are in the main sourced within the area.
And that is providing jobs and other local economic stimulus.
 
1.2 Along with our Home Repair Kits, Australian-designed SkyHydrant™ water filtration systems are being installed in Barangays (villages) and schools on Panay Island working with the Rotary Club of Metro Iloilo; and on Mindanao Island with BMF assisting in the installation and operation of SkyHydrants™.
 
1.3 Disaster Aid is in the Philippines "for the long haul" to assist local communities rebuild and provide clean water to those on Bohol, Panay and Mindanao. And in that connection, two Rotarians from the RC Metro Iloilo and three members of BMF might soon be trained in installation and operation of the water filtration system at the SkyJuice Foundation's facility in Queensland.
 
 
1.4 The responses to these disasters and our work with BMF, government and other agencies (and ongoing cooperation with Rotary clubs) has seen changes. We have learned much and adapted quickly to how we respond, work with the affected community, deliver our aid and, importantly, stay on to help rebuild and increasingly provide the equipment needed to ensure a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
And the latter is becoming an increasingly vital imperative. Disaster Aid's association with the SkyJuice Foundation (http://www.skyjuice.com.au/) provides strong and sustainable water solutions for us in disaster affected (or prone) regions.
Here are some more photographs taken in the Philippines earlier this month ...
 
2 DAI Chairman in a 'flying visit' to the Philippines
2.1 David Langworthy was met by DAA Deployment Manager and leader of the DART teams, Rotarian Ed Cox (who has been with DAI in the Philippines since October) and spent seven days in the affected areas this month, meeting with government officials, Rotarians, DARTs and BMF colleagues.
"We are assisting people on seven (of 7,000) islands and the logistics really are a nightmare. As Rotarians, we can all be proud of the work done by Disaster Aid. We are delivering to world's best practice, working with and meeting the needs of those affected by these calamitous events – unimaginable in the minds of most Australians."

2.2 David attended a meeting of the RC of Iloilo Metro whose members have been very supportive of DAI, including delivery of the Home Repair Kits and even providing drivers and cars for him and Ed at no cost.
Speaking at the club meeting, David not only thanked them for that vital assistance but also presented a challenge ... to bring clean potable water to the Barangays (villages) of Panay Island.
It has a population of 4 million, and children are dying because of no regular supply of clean drinking water.
He said it could be a long term project as a partnership between DAI and the RC of Metro Iloilo, perhaps involving other Rotary Clubs on the Island. This is where the possibility of flying two members to Australia for training and installation of SkyHydrants™ was first raised.

"If a child does not have potable water, that is more than an issue beyond natural disasters ... it is a disaster in itself." ...