A jeepney that used to serve in the interior areas. Scenes from the southern Philippines following Tropical Storm Washi. Photo credit: CAFOD

Carino Antequisa of CAFOD (Caritas UK) is on the ground in the southern Philippines responding to the emergency. He writes:

I have just come back from our assessment in the interior areas of Iligan. I’m a bit tired as we had to hike some stretches of impassable roads to reach some devastated communities along the Mandulog River. Our team was the first to reach some of the interior villages that were totally swept by the rampaging water.

The situation in the interior villages is very much the same as in the urban areas. However, what they considered as immediate needs are nails, roofing materials, a chainsaw for cutting the fallen coconut trees for their new homes, and food while they reconstruct their houses. Most of them still have farms that were partially destroyed but still could provide food. There is a visible need for improving their water supply.

They need shelter, along with farm tools, draft animals and other things for their crops. A big challenge is where to locate their new houses.