Red Cross 320 shelters for displaced families in Iligan City
Nearly one year since typhoon 'Sendong' swamped Iligan City in Lanao Del Norte, rendering homeless thousands of families, the Philippine Red Cross is ready to turn over on October 2 this year, 320 transitional shelters and starter kits to the worst hit families in Barangay Digkilaan in Iligan.
"These houses will bring back the lost hope and dignity of these families, many of whom are still struggling to get back to normalcy," said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, adding, "It takes time to recover."
The 320 shelters worth P25.6 million in total, were completed in three months through the funding support of the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) which provided 250 shelters; Australian Agency for International Development (Australian AID), 50; and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), 20.
The three funding agencies also provided the starter kits (eating and cooking utensils and water containers) worth about P1 million.
Another 1,242 transitional shelters funded by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are now being constructed, also for displaced families in Iligan. Shelter repair kits were earlier distributed to 1,000 families, also in Iligan, with the help of IFRC.
The 320 transitional shelters, all provided with one latrine each, are made of sturdy coco lumbers for the posts, braces and trusses, GI sheets for roofing and light materials for the walls.
The shelters which has a floor area of 25 square meters each, were built on the one-hectare land donated by the local government of Iligan. The shelter site will be called Red Cross Village.
Five shallow wells were constructed and three water bladders were set up by the Red Cross to provide potable drinking water to beneficiaries.
The Iligan Light and Power Incorporated (ILPI) has installed electric post in Barangay Digkilaan to provide electricity to the 320 households at the Red Cross Village.
The selection of shelter beneficiaries was conducted by the PRC in coordination with the local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Gordon will lead the awarding of certificates of ownership of the shelters to the families, along with PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, QRCS Secretary General Saleh Al Mohannadi and other key officials from PRC, PICE and the local government.
"This is a collective effort among PRC, funding agencies, the local government and the beneficiaries. The houses were built through the Bayanihan efforts of the beneficiaries who were all inspired to build their own houses," said PRC Secretary General Pang.
Apart from transitional shelters, Qatar Red Crescent has earlier provided food items ( rice, noodles and can goods) to 1,000 families, non-food items ( blankets mats and jerry cans) to 1, 000 families, and hygiene kits to 1,000 families, all in Iligan.
Earlier, the Australian Aid has also supported the distribution of shelter repair kits to 314 families and installation of 40 units of latrines and 28 units of bathing facilities. It also funded the provision of non-food items to 14,000 families and hygiene kits to 8,000 families.
Another 600 families also received shelter repair kits from the joint funding support of the Australian Aid and German Red Cross.
The German Red Cross, in cooperation with European Community Humanitarian Office, IFRC and German Government Agency also provided food package and hygiene kits to 5,000 families, non-food items to 4,000 families and 445 hygiene kits to various schools.
The International Committee of the Red Cross on the other hand, provided non-food items and hygiene kits to 3,000 families.
The Spanish Red Cross likewise gave hygiene kits to 1,500 families and 3000 jerry cans for field operation.
The Red Cross thanked all its partners for their full support in providing new homes, new hope, and new life for the displaced families.
Since the PRC embarked on shelter program in 2004, it has provided to date, a total of 43,500 transitional shelters and shelter repair kits to families across the country who were rendered homeless by disasters.