More updates from 350 Pilipinas on the Haiyan aftermath
November 25, 2013 – Nicolò Wojewoda
Map of Eastern Visayas
Meggie, one of the volunteers at 350 Pilipinas traveling in the areas impacted by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, follows up to the first report back with the following two updates.
We are still reeling from the devastation that we saw in Eastern Visayas and got caught up with the relief drive when we got back. We will be sending the first wave of relief goods tomorrow so everyone is busy taking care of the logistics but we are all set now. We drafted a short account of what we saw during our trip to the Yolanda-impacted areas.
There is little or no building left standing in the towns we came across leading up to Tacloban City, which is a virtual no man’s land. We saw an evacuation center made of concrete that wasn’t spared by the devastating gusts and storm surges. It collapsed and killed 13 people that sought refuge in it, including small children. Typhoon Haiyan uprooted or damaged all sources of subsistence and livelihood, and the debris and flood waters contaminated most sources of water. There were dead bodies that the government still hasn’t cleaned up yet, and heaps of debris and rubble are everywhere.
The survivors we have talked to confirmed that hardships continue to persist on the ground: government relief still has yet to arrive in these areas a full week after the disaster and survival has been the priority of the families, with a lot of them resorting to looting or scavenging. They are urgently in need of at least a week’s worth of food, water, and materials for temporary shelters. In the long term, the people will be needing help in reconstructing their homes and infrastructure, and rebuilding their livelihoods.
The assessment team identified 24 priority municipalities and cities – these are communities that are among the most affected, but have local people’s organizations that can help facilitate the efficient and secure delivery of relief. Our local partners will also serve as the main conduit for long-term climate change education and action, as we believe the best way to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan is through empower them towards struggling for climate justice.
I’m sharing with you the output of our trip to Leyte and Samar, the (partial) needs and damages assessment report. This is not as technical and complete as we would have liked but we were only able to scan the area and had limited time. The team needed to get back as soon as the logistics have been prepared and arrange for the actual relief operations which kicked off today. Leon [other 350 Pilipinas volunteer] joined the relief caravan and maybe he will have a more detailed report on what is happening on the ground.
NOTE: Brigada Kalikasan and Kalikasan PNE are coordinating with Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA in shipping the relief goods to Eastern VIsayas, that is why we signed the report under BALSA.
NOTE: The report is unavailable right now.
We’re so grateful for the dedication of people like Meggie and Leon, who provide support around relief and rehabilitation, as well as connect the dots of extreme weather event impacts and climate justice. Let’s keep raising our money and our voices for them!
350 Pilipinas reports back from Haiyan impacted areas
November 19, 2013 – Nicolò Wojewoda
Over the weekend, a team of 350 Pilipinas / Power Shift Pilipinas volunteers settled safely in Tacloban, in the wake of senseless destruction.
East Visayas Tacloban Landscape Post Yolanda
Meggie, who has just returned from Tacloban, reports that there is a need for more relief donations, as several communities have not received anything since the typhoon hit. As she put it, they may have survived the storm but not from hunger.
Donations from Kalikasan Youth Makati
Leon, who is in Manila adds:
The Brigada Kalikasan (BK) disaster response campaign network was launched on November 12 a day after news reports have finally started airing from ground zero in the communities most-affected by Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda). The organizations that make up BK are 350 PH [350 Pilipinas] volunteers, and we soon got in contact with Zeph [350.org Southeast Asia Co-Coordinator] for initial ideas for a long-term response. After our talks days later, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) agreed to support the campaign particularly in the long-term rehabilitation and recovery efforts.
After under a week in our donation drive, we have initially received small amounts of canned goods, clothing, and water. We were able to send in 200 bottles of water to the first relief mission mounted together with BALSA to least-served communities in the Western Visayas region – which, alongside Samar and some parts of South Luzon region, has been under the media radar.
Water Donations from Friends Colleagues
On November 13, various groups mounted an International Day of Solidarity for Typhoon Haiyan survivors which the BK organizing groups also joined. It was a night when two of the biggest issues the country is facing, consecutive disasters and the pork barrel system of political patronage funds, brought to fore a local flavor of climate justice: people were indignantly calling for the rechanneling of billions of pesos in public funds were being stolen or used for political interests through the unaccountable lump-sum pork barrel funds towards immediate disaster response and long-term climate resiliency. Here is further explanation on how the pork barrel system is hurting our nation’s climate vulnerability.
350 Pilipinas at International Solidarity Day
We sent fellow campaigner Meggie to join a multi-sectoral assessment team organized by the Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA, a national relief drive network with which Brigada Kalikasan (BK) is cooperating with. They left last November 14 to conduct a damage and needs assessment in the Leyte and Samar provinces. We expect the assessment’s coverage to be a bit limited, given that our local partner groups were all affected by the Super Typhoon. They will be reporting back tomorrow afternoon.
Aidalyn Arabe, from Dumaguete, reports from Malapascua Island in Northern Cebu:
We have seen the wrath of Supertyphoon Yolanda through television news and print but seeing the devastation with our own eyes brings so much pain and sorrow for the people who have completely lost their homes and properties. People were thankful that there were no casualties in their island. Many have lost their means of livelihood because a lot of boats of the fishermen were destroyed. Resorts were not also spared and many have been leveled to the ground if not partly damaged. Fishing and resort jobs are their primary means livelihood. They have acknowledged the fact that our weather condition is not anymore the weather we regularly encounter before. A lot has changed and they are afraid for there will be more to come.
350 PH volunteer
We keep standing in solidarity with and appreciate the precious work of Meggie, Leon, Aidalyn and others, raising our money and raising our voices for those heavily impacted by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, and all others facing the damaging consequence of climate change fueled extreme weather events.
Let the truth prevail: Confronting the Power Finance Corporation Limited, India
October 15, 2013 – Renuka
I usually find news paper advertisements boring, but a small invite to pre-bid conference for proposed 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) caught my attention. Ignoring a restraining order by the National Green Tribunal India, the project promoter Power Finance Corporation Limited, India has announced bid process for UMPP proposed in Cheyyur District of Indian State of Tamil Nadu. In past PFC has lied to the people and authorities of Cheyyur about upcoming project and now they were trying to hide facts from investors as well. Someone had to put an end to all lying. So we at 350 India, decided to confront the concerned authorities and warn the investors as well. With help from our friends at Community Environment Monitoring, a list of fraudulent statements and misrepresentations used by Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd to facilitate environmental clearances for 4000 MW Cheyyur UMPP was prepared. The plan was to hand out these letters to the potential investors warning them of risks associated with this project.
It was bit difficult to blend in the suit clad crowd and pretend to be as one of interested developer. However the short film on the project site followed by a presentation boosting about state of the art technologies being adopted to protect environment, made us laugh and even more determined to expose the lies in the Environment Impact Assessment report submitted by the PFC officials. During the open discussion, one by one we started asking hard hitting questions about court orders & land acquisition. While the authorities tried to duck these questions few more investors expressed their concerns over the way the clearance was sought. Suddenly from technical discussion the focus shifted to environment and forest concerns. However the key moment was when we directly mentioned about the fraudulent claims and walked to deliver the letter to the panel. All eyes were glued to us as we were distributing the letter in middle of the meeting. We were hoping we would be asked to leave immediately, but the organizers were too shocked to react and we got stay till the end of the meeting.
As we prepared to leave the conference we were surrounded by anxious investors asking for a copy of the letter. Soon we ran out of copies of letter. We never expected our small action would be taken so seriously by investors present. No wonder we were not invited for post conference lunch for the organizers.
The small action was in solidarity with people of Cheyyur, fighting to save their land and water resouces. Visit http://cheyyur.wordpress.com/ for more information on the campaign.
October 10, 2013 – Zeph Danieles
Vietnam is in record heat again
May 19, 2012 – Rully Prayoga
Vietnam is in record heat again
by Hong Hoang, 350.org Vietnam
The year 2010 was the world’s warmest year on record, when the temperature in Vietnam also reached a record level. In the capital city of Hanoi, the outside temperature in June 2010 sometimes went up to 44-45oC (111-113oF).
And in April and early May this year, the Vietnamese people experienced the record heat again. People in many cities and provinces coped with the worst heat, totally unusual for early summer. Highest temperatures were recorded in many provinces in North and Central Vietnam (Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Bac Kan, Nghe An…), which broke all the previous records made in these provinces for the last 30-60 years. Although the announced temperatures were around 40-41oC (104-105.8oF), the actual outside temperatures usually went up to 45-46oC (113-114.8oF), because the heat was added up by the blazing sun rays, the gas emission, an other factors related to urban heat island.
The fierce heat could be the main reason that caused dozens of forest fires throughout Vietnam in the past month. The worst one was the fire in Hai Van Special Use Forest in Central Vietnam on 2 May, that burned down 100 hectares of primitive forests and plantation forests. With more similar heat waves expected to come from now until July, many forests are in high risk to catch fire.
Fighting hard with the horrible heat, volunteers of 350.org in Ho Chi Minh City decided to do anything to cool the city down. As part of Connect the Dots campaign, they took on the mission to plant 1.000 trees in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, where people do not only suffer from the heat, but also from the frequent inundations caused by high tides, that have constantly made new height records for the past 4 years, which was determined by the local meteorologists to be the consequence of the sea level rise. In addition to that, the volunteers will also help the local residents to reinforce the dykes that were broken during the recent floods, and clear up water hyacinth along the river branches that go around the villages, which will help to ensure easier water flows and therefore prevent the water from overflowing into the houses.
“I was born and grew up in this city and I love it,” said Mai Khanh Vo, volunteer leader of Connect the Dots HCMC. “We are all aware that global climate change has something to do with the recent weather extremes. For the first time in my life, I experience a bad storm that attacked HCMC in early April, which according to scientists was a very unusual for this season and for this region. I have friends from various provinces, and they all tell me about the unusual weather events that recently caused damages to their families. And even in HCMC, the most developed city of Vietnam, we have to live with tide-caused inundations every month. While we cannot do anything to immediately stop the floods, we can do something to reduce the impacts, and to prevent the water from going up even higher in the future.”
For more information please contact Hong Hoang email@example.com
The story behind a powerful image
May 17, 2012 – Juliana Russar
We asked our organizers in Salvador, Brazil, to tell us more about the story behind one of the most iconic images of Climate Impacts Day. Below you can read the whole story:
The picture above is part of an action carried out by 350.org volunteers from the city of Salvador, Brazil, during Climate Impacts Day (5/5). It may even seem an exaggerated situation, but it highlights what is going to happen – in fact, already happening – in the lives of people living in coastal areas. It is estimated that over 600 million of people live in areas at risk with sea level rise. Only in Brazil, they are 42 million – a quarter of the entire population!
During a 350.org workshop, the group came out with the idea of organizing an action that could draw people’s attention to the danger we are facing as extreme weather get more frequent and extreme. However, for one person in special, what happened in that scene was not something new. This person was Raphael Gomes, the volunteers’ coordinator of Salvador group.
Raphael and his family lived in a city in the countryside of Bahia where they struggled during the droughts season year after year. When he moved to the capital, Salvador, his family faced floods. Thus, when he stood there watching the little Naira Cerqueira, 7, in the scene in which the sea water floods her residence, Raphael was reliving his own childhood. “Those were tough times, because for a kid to wake up and witness all of his possessions being damaged by the rain is something that takes time to be overcome – although we never forget it.”, he says.
Fortunately, the life’s difficulties would not dishearten him. On the contrary, they served as an incentive for Raphael to move towards a path of solidarity and much engagement and commitment to causes related to environment protection. “I believe that everything that happened in my life brought me closer to environmental issues. Not in a passive way, but it has created in me a truly need to motivate and mobilize people to comprehend the causes and consequences of climate change. In fact, it is more than that: it is also about showing them what the solutions are and who are the responsible for making them true”, he says.
Today, it has been three years since Raphael is leading the group and, despite the young age, 21, he is sure about what he wants: “We want to build a movement in which people can be empowered to make a difference. The picture we took at the beach is a small sample of this – but we want and need to do much more. We are very pleased with the photo’s repercussion, and we want more and more to engage the media and the society”, he states.
Text and Featured Image: Diêgo Lôbo
In Gunma, in Japan
May 14, 2012 – Bill McKibben
they picked up trash that washed down the rivers during recent floods.
In central Japan, we’re having hotter summers, colder winters and more
unpredictable and severe weather in between. This spring sudden
downpours damaged crops, and washed garbage down river (which we did our
best to pick up). This particular “dot” we labeled. It was nothing to
the freak tornado that devastated part of Tsukuba, the hail storms
(marbles and golf balls), and the killer lightening storms that plowed through three prefectures just afterwards,
From Daegu in South Korea
May 14, 2012 – Bill McKibben
Here’s the note they sent: With the rising cost of rice due to increase rain, in the future, many of these
people may have to forgo traditional lunches of duboki and kimbap!
Our friends in Bungoma Kenya
May 11, 2012 – Bill McKibben
organized by the local group Jatonet
A poignant picture from Burundi that connects a lot of dots
May 11, 2012 – Bill McKibben
It came with this caption: Here, it is in a village of Gatumba in a country of east Africa which is called Burundi. In this photo, we are in the presence of a young lady showing with the finger there where was her house before being taken by the violent rain. Now you see it yourself, there is only a swamp of water….