Philippines after typhoon Washi: An Update on Duyog Iligan Tri-People Solidarity for Sendong Survivors campaign

RDRRAC, Duyog Iligan serve hinterland Sendong survivors

10 JAN

The Relief and Distribution Team of the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC) through its Duyog Iligan Tri-People Solidarity for Sendong Survivors campaign organized a two-day Relief Mission which distributed food as well as non-food items on January 8-9, 2012 in two hinterland communities of Iligan City: Brgy. Lanipao and Brgy. Mandulog respectively.

After validating the data collected in the two barangays and coordinating with local barangay officials, the team proceeded with the Relief Distribution.

The roads connecting Mandulog and Lanipao were destroyed during the floods. At the moment, a bamboo raft served as the main transportation system for residents of Lanipao to go out from their community to other villages such as Mandulog and Digkilaan. With the volume of goods to be transported to Lanipao, the local officials suggested to conduct the Relief Mission in neighboring Barangay Digkilaan.

Against the backdrop of mountains, debris and driftwoods smattering the riverbank of Digkilaan, six (6) registration areas were set-up under the coconut trees. Thirty (30) volunteers of the Duyog Iligan Tri-people Solidarity for Sendong survivors worked for two (2) hours in the registration and distribution lines under the scorching heat of the sun. The survivors themselves braved the 1.5 hours walk and the subsequent wading in the river to get to Digkilaan to meet the relief and distribution team. Like the volunteers, they also queued under the heat of the sun while others seek refuge on what little shade that the coconut trees can offer. The team was assisted by four (4) members of the Barangay Council of Lanipao which contributed to the smooth and orderly flow.

The Community and Family Services, International (CFSI), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Plan International provided the non-food items for the 226 families served.

Items distributed to the families were: kitchen utensils set (containing cooking pots, plates, ladle and knife), plastic sheet, blankets, jerry cans, malong and used clothing.

The group from Lanipao also requested for shovels and picks to clean up the debris and clear the roads in their barangay.

Meanwhile, Barangay Mandulog was served on January 9, 2012 at the Brgy. Multi-Purpose hall. The barangay council had set up a disaster committee which worked closely with the Relief and Distribution Team. The latter also sourced out the food and non-food items for distribution from Senators Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano, Congressman Varf Belmonte, and Plan International. The distributed packs contained: rice, sardines, blanket and malong.Seven hundred ninety-six (796) families were served that day, the bulk of whom are home-based survivors. Only eleven families stayed in the evacuation center situated at the Barangay Multi-Purpose Hall.

The team also looked into the services already given by different organizations in the barangay. As per records of the Barangay Secretary, there were eight (8) persons who died during the floods and twenty-five (25) still remained missing, which would show that the survivors, especially the grieving families need help in coping with their loss through psychosocial interventions.

 Scenes and Stories in Mandulog

07 JAN

Mandulog Evacuation Center, Madulog, Iligan City- Only eleven (11) families, whose homes were washed by the floods caused by the typhoon Sendong, can be seen at the makeshift evacuation center situated at the covered court of the barangay hall. Most of the families opted to stay with their neighbors whose houses survived the floods, which are not many. Others stayed in “landahan”, mosques, madrasas, waiting sheds, or at any building which has roof and walls, that can “protect” them from the elements. Others put up tents along the roads bringing with them their remaining farm animals. They are referred to as the home-based evacuees.

Houses which used to stand near the river bank were all wiped out. What remained was a mosque. Farther on the road, the elementary school was in shambles with only the cement wall left standing. The madrasa across the road from the school managed to survive. What used to be a bamboo plantation supported by the MSU-IIT, had only a few remaining trees. The bridge that leads to other barangays like Lanipao, Dulag and Kalilangan were destroyed cutting off the local residents in these areas. Because of this, much needed relief items by the local residents were just dropped by helicopters in certain areas. A bamboo raft was newly-assembled to become the temporary transport system connecting Mandulog and Lanipao.

Tales from survivors poured forth. A man and his family who lived near the river bank pointed to his wooden house that got uprooted. It is now stuck to a coconut tree. He himself was thrown out of the house. He survived by latching on another coconut tree and holding on for dear life when the water peaked at around 11PM. He managed to hold on to his mobile phone and that is where he noted the time. But, it also went out of his grasp.

His wife who was left inside the house with the six kids went up the roof. When the water continued to rise up, his wife tore her clothes and with her “malong”, wrapped the children and tied them and herself in the coconut tree. The water eventually subsided around 2AM and they managed to get down and went to the mosque with their other surviving neighbors.

Another man related how he saw his family got carried by the flood waters. Regretting their decision to leave their house, he said he listened to his wife’s suggestion to leave and go to a relative. However, the house where they transferred got struck with a log carried by the rampaging waters. It destroyed their door. It was also at the same time when he hoisted his two children to his wife. The latter got hit with the log and did not catch the children. His wife and the children were carried away with the flood waters. He was left with the two kids. He tried to hold on to them while trying to swim. But they, too, were forcibly snatched away from him by the strong current of flood waters. He survived by holding on to a post.

Now, he still blamed himself for not having saved his family. He slept at nights at the gravesite of one of his children whose remains was the only one recovered among his family. He still kept on searching for the others.

Meanwhile, other families who lost their love-ones also haven’t given up. They kept on searching hoping that one day their missing love-ones will turn up. Each time they heard of body/bodies showing up in certain places, they readily go with the hope that it’s finally their love-ones.

These are just a few of the sad tales in Mandulog. Even in the neighboring barangays of Lanipao and Dulag who didn’t make it to Mandulog, the number of people who remained inside these barangays are not yet ascertained, including the number of dead and missing persons.

By: Amabella Carumba

RDRRAC led 2-day Medical and Psychosocial Mission

06 JAN

The Ranao Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Center (RDRRAC) in collaboration with the Medical Action Group (MAG), Bangsamoro Medical Society- Cotabato Region and volunteer nurses and social workers of the Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) and the National Acupuncture and Detoxification Association (NADA) launched a two-day medical and psychosocial mission in three (3) barangays in Iligan City. These areas were in Brgys. Mandulog and Hinaplanon, and Purok Manwang and Mangga in Brgy.Tubod, Iligan City.

Four (4) medical doctors, eight (8) nurses, eight (8) social workers and four (4) certified acupuncturists with eighteen (18) RDRRAC volunteers worked together for two (2) days. The doctors from the Bangsamoro Medical Society were led by Dr. Sherjan Kalim while Rolly delos Santos represented the Medical Action Group. Dr. Mac Gerald Cueto headed the National Acupuncture and Detoxification Association.

On the first day, January 4, 2012, only psychosocial session was conducted in Brgy. Mandulog. The volunteer doctors of the Bangsamoro Medical Society joined the doctors of the BDA-Ranao region, who were also organizing a medical mission, in serving patients in Brgy. Hinaplanon.

On the second day, January 5, 2012, the team proceeded to Purok, Manwang in Brgy. Tubod at 7AM where home-based evacuees were staying. Patients were already queuing for check-up as early as 6:30 in the morning. A total of one hundred ninety-nine (199) patients were served; one hundred ten (110) of them were adults while ninety-one (91) were children.

The top ten major complaints of patients were cough, fever, headache, rashes/itchiness, body pain, dizziness, abdominal pain, chest & muscle pain, vomiting & diarrhea. Scabies outbreak was also observed as several numbers of families with all family members affected. One child, Connie Joy Galarosa, 2 years old, was recommended for admission to a hospital. She was rushed to Mercy Community Clinic by the RDRRAC volunteers, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Medicines used during the Medical Mission were sourced out by the Medical Action Group from AKBAYAN and UNILAB and transported to Cagayan de Oro City for free by ZestAir. Other medicines were donated by the Parang Parish Church, Globe telecommunications, PACT and individuals from the Cotabato areas.

Psychotrauma healing sessions were also organized at the Purok Mangga Evacuation Center to adult and children survivors, especially for those whose family members died or went missing. Both Purok Manwang and Mangga were adopted by the RDRRAC.

Meanwhile, the acupuncturists of NADA took care of the caregivers/volunteers by giving them a 30-minute acupuncture session which is to be done for three (3) straight days. This is to release the weariness, stress and tension of the almost three (3) weeks of responding to the emergency situation in Iligan City. Since, the NADA acupuncturists only stayed for three days, the acupuncture sessions were continued by their locally-trained acupuncturist. Victims with cases of severe trauma were also treated by the acupuncturists.

By: Amabella Carumba

 Disaster response continues for Sendong survivors

01 JAN

Iligan City- In response to the urgent needs of Sendong survivors in Iligan City who are either home-based or inside evacuation centers, DUYOG ILIGAN (Tri-people Solidarity Network for Sendong Survivors) spearheaded by Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC), started its relief distribution and medical mission with the help of the volunteers.

With the aim of reaching out the majority of the affected families, it is expecting to deliver support to 10,887 families (55.98% of the total affected families) from different affected barangays in Iligan City in the coming days.

The following composes the disaster response activities that the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center have done from December 23, 2011:

 DATE PLACE # of Families benefitted CONTENT/SET
 Dec.23,2011 3pm Pala-o Medical, Iligan City 29 families 5 kg Rice, ½ kg sugar, ¼ kg salt, 4 pcs laundry soap, 5 pcs toothbrush, ¼ kg dried fish, ½ kg mongo beans, 3 cans sardines, 1 pc. Water container and 1 hyposol
Dec.24,2011 9am Manuang, Tubod, Iligan CIty 43 families 5 kls. Rice, ½ sugar, ¼ salt, 4 laundry soap, ¼ dried fish, ½ mongo beans, 3 cans sardines and 5 pcs. toothbrush
Dec.26,2011 4pm Bagong Silang, Iligan City 53 families 5 kls. Rice, ¼ dried fish, ½ sugar, 2 cans sardines, ½ mongo beans, ¼ salt and ¼ laundry soap
Dec.28,2011 9 am-4 pm10am Mangga Elementary School Purok 7, Pala-o, Iligan City 21 patients & 20 families Alternative health services (ear acupuncture, massage) given by RDRRAC Medical Team, 20 pcs plastic sheets each measures 10-meter long
Dec.29,2011 11am Purok 10, Pala-o, Iligan City 11 families 22 pcs plastic sheets each measures 10-meter long
Dec. 29, 2011 4pm (Team 1) Enang’s Evacuation Center, Hinaplanon 55 families 5 kg. Rice, ½ kg sugar, ½ kg mongo beans, ¼ kg salt, 4 pcs. Laundry soap, 2 pcs. Bath soap, 2 cans sardines, ¼ dried fish, 1 pc. Malong and5 pcs. toothbrush
Dec. 29, 2011 4pm (Team 2) Riverside, Hinaplanon 88 families 5 kg. Rice, ½ kg sugar, ½ kg mongo beans, ¼ kg salt, 4 pcs. Laundry soap, 2 cans sardines, ¼ kg dried fish, 1 pc. Malong, 2 pcs. Bathsoap and5 pcs. toothbrush
Dec.30,2011 3pm Purok 7, Riverside, Pala-o, Iligan City 106 families 5 kg rice, ½ kg sugar, ½ kg mongo beans, ½ kg salt, 4 pcs laundry soap (jumbo), 2 cans sardines¼ kg dried fish, 1 pc. Malong, 2 pcs. Bath soap, 3 pcs. Noodles, 1 pc. Jerry can, 5 pcs. Toothbrush and 1 pc. hyposol
December 29-30, 2011 Morning Purok Manwang, Tubod, Iligan City 49 Patients Medical consultation spearheaded by the Health/Medical/Psychosocial Committee with the help of volunteer doctor from Medical Action Group (MAG), Dr. Romulo Ybiernas, MD.

Potable water arrives for evacuees

31 DEC

Iligan City- Days after typhoon Sendong struck Iligan City, potable water finally arrives at the Mangga Elementary School evacuation center on December 30, 2011 to address to the need for safe drinking and washing water which was one of the greatest problems that all evacuation camps encounter.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Province of Cebu Relief and Rehabilitation Operation facilitated the transport of potable water from the City Water District as well as in filling-up the water container donated by a Swiss organization.

Potable and safe drinking and washing water would definitely lessen hygiene, sanitation and other-health related problems that evacuees as well as service providers suffer from in their day-to-day survival at the evacuation center.

 RDRRAC adopts evacuation center

31 DEC

Coordination Meeting with CSWD, CHO, PNP, CVO and Purok Presidents
Iligan City- To augment the limited human resource of the local government managing the evacuation centers catering to survivors of typhoon Sendong, the Evacuation Center and Relief Operations Committee of the city government headed by Councilor Freddie Siao encouraged several disaster response organizations to adopt an evacuation center.

Responding to this need, the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC) through its DUYOG Iligan Tri-People Solidarity for Sendong Survivors Campaign adopted the Mangga Elementary School evacuation center in Brgy. Tubod, Iligan City which caters to more or less 1,800 affected families both in-camp and out-camp since December 26, 2011.

Command center members with Gamma Kappa Phi fraternity volunteers
RDRRAC assisted in putting up mechanisms of camp management such as establishing command and coordination structure with the City Social Welfare Development (CSWD), City Health Office (CHO), Barangay Council, Purok Presidents, Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO), School Administration and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

This NGO-LGU partnership ensures systematic process of bringing in relief and rehabilitation assistance to both in-camp and out-camp survivors through the committees in charge of receiving, distribution and inventory of relief goods and other forms of assistance, health and sanitation, information and documentation, security and crowd control and linkaging.

For pictures of Operations at the Mangga Elementary School evacuation center, please visit RDRACC on Facebook.

RDRRAC to launch camp management orientations

27 DEC

Iligan City- With nineteen (19) evacuation centers catering from hundreds to thousands of internally-displaced persons each, problems of hygiene, health and sanitation, security and gender and age-sensitivity becomes primary concern in the disaster response operations in Iligan City.

Thus, the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC) created its Camp Management Committee headed by Miss Yennah Torres, the Executive Director of the Tri-People Organization against Disasters (TRIPOD) Foundation. TRIPOD is one of the network organizations of Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC) which for more than twenty years have been responding to both natural and man-made disasters in Mindanao.

What will camp management orientation compose of?

- Orientation on Internally-Displaced Persons’ rights

- Installation of systems of receiving and distributing relief goods, health and sanitation, cleaning, security, documentation, reporting and monitoring, etc.)

- Installation of different camp committees

- Identification of special needs based on gender and age (women, children, elderly, people with disabilities)

The Camp Management Committee which forms a part of the DUYOG Iligan: Tri-People Solidarity for Sendong Survivors plans to adopt an evacuation center to install the mechanisms and test its efficiency by involving the City Social Welfare Department (CSWD), barangay officials and the people inside the evacuation themselves in the process.

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