End of December 2017, tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Urduja) made landfall over Eastern Samar province, causing major flooding and several casualties.
In response to the disaster, ACTED conducted a rapid needs assessment which highlighted urgent needs related to water, sanitation and hygiene. Access to drinking water and hygiene assistance appear as the most crucial issues. ACTED, partnering with UNICEF, provided relief supplies to populations of Salcedo and Mercedes municipalities, which were among the most impacted of the province, already experiencing water outages. In January 2018, ACTED distributed 10,000 hygiene and water-related kits (including water purification items like powder and pills, and jerry cans) to support the most vulnerable.
Leonora, a mother of eight children, and Acardio, a 62 years old man, are among the beneficiaries of ACTED’s relief assistance. Both of them reside in Salcedo municipality with their family, where they were caught up in the heavy rains and flooding. Acardio and his family needed to evacuate the area immediately towards the nearest safe location, a two floor building from which he witnessed his home being destroyed by the waters. ACTED’s water, hygiene and sanitation intervention activities allowed them to have access to safe water and to pass on important messages on best hygiene practices in order to keep them safe from potential disease outbreaks induced by the disaster.
Few months have passed since the typhoon made landfall over the Eastern Samar province. Despite ACTED’s intervention, water and hygiene-related issues remain a major concern in the affected municipalities, as full access to safe water and proper hygiene facilities is still not ensured. Local communities’ livelihoods were significantly damaged by the heavy rains, major landslides and flooding which struck the region in the aftermath of the typhoon, depriving an important part of the population from their sources of income. Both Leonora’s and Acardio’s families are still experiencing serious financial constraints: Leonora lost her crops and Arcadio his fishing pond.
ACTED provided emergency water, hygiene and sanitation assistance to over 14,200 beneficiaries in Salcedo and Mercedes municipalities, and promoted best hygiene practices, benefitting to over4,000 people. ACTED moreover plans to rehabilitate the latrines and water systems of eight elementary schools in both municipalities to enable access to proper sanitation facilities for over 3,000 children.