ActionAid’s partner in the Philippines, Women in Emergencies Network (WENet), is working with local member organisations in Bicol and Mindoro island where indigenous and rural women are providing emergency relief to their communities.
Speaking from Manila, Judy Pasimio, coordinator at indigenous women’s rights organisation LILAK, said battering winds and heavy rains continued throughout the night and many families still have no electricity.
“Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) has hit communities still reeling from the destructive force of Goni. It is worse than we thought, trees are down, roofs have blown off and flooding in coastal areas is terrible.
“Indigenous communities in Mindoro and Quezon are reporting further destruction of their homes and farmland. For families who have already lost so much to multiple typhoons, landslides, violent winds, and Covid-19, this will be devastating.”
Ms Pasimio said indigenous communities in Nueva Vizcaya, which are near to an Australian gold mine, are concerned that flooding and landslides could cause toxic waste from the mine to spill onto their farmland.
LILAK is working with women from the Hanunuo Mangyan community, who were trained as emergency responders following Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 7,360 people and is one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the island nation.
The women are distributing emergency relief to their communities, to help rebuild homes and provide essential food support, water, hygiene kits and blankets. It is also using SMS messages to send out vital public health information and updates on Covid-19 and tropical storms to help keep hard to reach communities safe.
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