Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda – 1 year on…

We are building up to the 1-year anniversary of Super-Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Haiyan), so all hands on deck, and a lot of activities going on, candlelight marches, memorial services, exhibitions, and so on.

Everyone is busy putting together summaries of our work in the last year, numbers of beneficiaries reached and support given, and advocacy messages for the coming year.

A few quick figures for you. My organisation has, in the last year, provided support to over 800,000 people, including:

  • Provided clean water, sanitation, and hygiene kits to over 500,000 people
  • Provided cash and income support to over 530,000 people
  • Distributed non-food items such as mosquito nets, tarpaulins, and mother and newborn kits to over 430,000 people
  • Supported the recovery of over 200 small businesses and micro-enterprises
  • Distributed over 8,000 sacks of rice seeds to support farmers

and many many more things as well. We’ve given out boats and cleared loads of agricultural land as well, but I don’t have the numbers handy….

This Guardian article sheds some interesting light on some of the issues and challenges being faced by communities, NGOs and the Government in terms of recovery, and I am told there is also an interesting documentary on the typhoon and response on the Discovery Channel, although I haven’t seen it yet.

Saturday 8th November, the anniversary of Haiyan, will be a busy day for me too. Starting at 5am I am joining colleagues from a number of agencies in a Climate Change Walk from the San Juanico Bridge to Tacloban City, followed by a fisherfolk’s “Paddle Out” in the Cantabato Bay to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the storm surge. Then later I’ll be joining a candlelit torch parade through the city, and a memorial mass at the City Hall, along with the unveiling of some sort of marker (or  commemorative statue I think).

NOTE: I drafted this email on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday it all changed….

I said I would support our media team, who have been working flat-out all week, and somehow got roped into helping with a live tv broadcast.

By Wednesday afternoon, I was signed up to be the host/anchor of a 5-hour long live tv broadcast covering the candlelight memorial. It’s all a bit terrifying!

I’ll be live on tv, hosting a show, and interviewing people, trying to look calm, speak slowly, sit up, remember the tag lines, and generally being very cheesy.

It’s all a bit horrifying, and I’m going to pretend it’s not really being live-streamed over the internet to the globe. Weirdly I feel a lot more comfortable being on TV in front of millions of strangers, but the thought of people I know watching it while I’m doing it live makes me cringe and get nervous. So any of you out there planning to watch it, for God’s sake don’t tell me about it. I don’t mind people watching it after it’s all over, when I can grin and be mortified and laugh it all off. Thankfully due to the time difference very few people I know will be up and watching tv at that time of the morning anyway.

Right, got to go practice and memorise my intro piece….

2 thoughts on “Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda – 1 year on…

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