Villages full of survivors move on

By November 10, 2015Blog, Slider

DAANBANTAYAN—The house where Roselyn Tura’s family lived these past two years was built, in part, using the trunks of trees that fell during typhoon Yolanda.

But next month, thanks to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the French Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, the Turas are moving into a new house designed to withstand 300-kph winds.

When the typhoon struck last Nov. 8, 2013, and a strong wind blew off their roof, Roselyn and her husband decided it was time to go. Roselyn, 27, brought her two children, who were then one and two years old, and ran to the mountains.

Their neighbors in Barangay Paypay, Daanbantayan joined them. They had to find a way around some fallen trees.

Two years after that devastation, the Turas will move to a typhoon-resilient house.

Who helped?

At least 128 houses were built in the Red Cross Village that sits on a 1.3-hectare lot in Barangay Paypay. Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro’s sister Elaine donated the land.

Several French businesses in the Philippines funded the project through the France-Philippine United Action (FPUA).

French Ambassador to the Philippines Thierry Mathou and PRC Chairman Dick Gordon headed the turnover of houses to the Yolanda survivors in the Red Cross Village yesterday.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Mayor Corro joined them.

FPUA identified the leading donors for the construction of houses in the Red Cross Village as Total, Sanofi, Caisse des Depots and French Red Cross. Their total budget amounted to US$1 million or almost P47 million.

The floor in the Tura family’s new house is being finished, the Roselyn said they may move in this December. She works as a manicurist, while her husband is a carpenter.

Safer, stronger

Right after the typhoon, they ate coconut meat and drank its juice to survive while they were still on the mountain. When she saw what was left of their nipa hut, she told herself it would be really hard to rebuild.

They still live in the same area where their old house stood. They used 10 galvanized iron sheets they had received and took the trunks of some fallen trees to build a new house.

“We are very thankful that we are among the beneficiaries. Now, we will be safe if there is a typhoon,” she said.

Each 30-square-meter housing unit has concrete walls and a restroom. The houses share a 33-kilowatt photovoltaic power plant and the village has its own water distribution system.

“There are also livelihoods here and in the whole Province of Cebu. We have put up about P700 million,” Gordon said yesterday.

In Barangay Agujo, FPUA and Habitat also turned over 76 typhoon-resilient houses to beneficiaries in the French Village. This community stands on a 5,400-square-meter lot donated by the Cebu Provincial Government.

More to do

FPUA’s leading sponsors provided US$500,000 or more than P23 million. They include Republic Cement and Building Materials, Schneider, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Megacem, Archetype, ParexGroup and Manille Bienvenue.

“These are resilient houses that can withstand 300-kph typhoons or a magnitude-7 earthquake,” said Architect Edilberto Florentino.

Ambassador Mathou assured that the French people will be ready to help those affected by calamities.

“We also have to work with local populations to give them shelter in case this kind of catastrophe comes again. This is why it is so important for the Philippine Government and our community to help the people here to build resilient houses,” he said.

Governor Davide and Vice Governor Magpale thanked all the donors.

For his part, Mayor Corro said he was thankful for all the donations, but that more still needed to be done. Some 1,500 families continue to live in danger zones and will have to be relocated.

Source: SunStar Cebu