Reports of the devastation after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are making headline news across the world, with estimates that up to 10,000 people have lost their lives, and numbers are rising. One of the most immediate needs is getting clean drinking water to the survivors.
GWP Philippines Chair, Ms. Rosario Aurora Villaluna is the local UNICEF WASH cluster head. She is leading a team to assess the damage and assist in relief efforts. Dr. Ramon Alikpala, who is Chairman of GWP Partner Organisation Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, is going to the affected areas to make an assessment of the water systems for the recovery efforts of USAID. He describes the situation:
“The devastation brought by the recent typhoon is unparalleled in Philippine history. Despite all the preparations made in anticipation of the typhoon, no one could anticipate the level of destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan. To date, more than an estimated 10,000 people have lost their lives and bodies litter the street of Tacloban City. The airport is destroyed and there is no power, communications and basic services in the area. As the local officials themselves have suffered huge personal losses, local government is in disarray and many residents have taken to looting in their desperation to secure food for their families.”
GWP Chair Ursula Schaefer-Preuss and Executive Secretary Ania Grobicki have expressed their sympathy and condolences to all the affected people in the devastated regions on behalf of GWP.
GWP is currently developing a programme for water security and resilience in South East Asia. The programme will include support to GWP Philippines, and given the scale of this disaster, opportunities will be explored to contribute to the reconstruction of the water resources and supply systems and enhance future resilience in the disaster areas struck by Typhoon Haiyan.
Photo: In 2009, Typhoon "Kiko" hit the Philippines