We agree. In the next couple of weeks, we are considering a cash programme project to remove the rubble in the devastated area.
Look how long it took them to remove the debris from the roads in Tsunami hit Japan in 2011.
@Isabelle @Patrick - of course, people just want their homes back, so some will patch them up. but how will aid workers assess which people are eligible for new, stronger homes, and can you work with the government on this for a more comprehensive approach?
And people need cash - this is a vital compoentn of the relief effort. Money in the pocket as so many have lost their livelihoods
We don't know the exact death toll and probably won't for some time. Mass burials a cause for massive trauma among relatives. What is being done to address this and limit long-term trauma? How can relatives and friends find out whether their loved ones are alive or dead?
Kerstin and Patrick: Those temporary structures people are building/repairing with whatever materials are available, how temporary are they – aren’t people staying in them post-disaster, making them (residents) even more vulnerable when the next disaster strikes?
@Megan. this is where we move beyond rapid assessment and have to use our network on the ground to assess 'the most vulnerable'. people will require different levels of support dependent on the degree of damage to their homes and the Shelter Cluster will help to coordinate NGOs and Govt in this process
ideally you want a permanent solution where people have typhoon resistant homes but you also have to take into account the traditional structures that people live in such as wood and tin roofs, these are affordable and can be maintained and with some technical instruction can also be safe
To avoid duplication, coordination is a vital aspect of this kind of disaster. It is important to go to the cluster meetings and the global outreach meetings and be aware of what everyone is doing in the field. This will ensure people are getting the relief and support they need.
Coordination and the need to establish partnerships between NGO's and humanitarian aagencies were important lessons learned after the 2004 tsunami. maximise resources, minimise duplication
@Magda people are building makeshift accommodation as they have no other choice at the moment. And there is always the possibility that makeshift turns into something more permanent so providing them with better building supplies is one solution
our team on the ground in estancia, iloilo heard a local news radio report that guns were pointed at a group of relief workers who were attempting to travel to an island barangay. the army spokesperson could not confirm the report, but assured that they will provide security escorts to relief workers.
With only one public hospital functioning in Tacloban,
what are the biggest challenges in terms of medical assistance for the survivors - not only in Tacloban, but also other devastated areas?
@IHRR Building local resilience is a cornerstone of Red Cross disaster risk reduction work in the Philippines
a group of armed men allegedly belonging to the new people's army (NPA) was seen entering tacloban city on Wednesday morning. regional police director has ordered the deployment of more troops to the area
the military report about communist rebels ambushing a group of soldiers escorting a food convoy headed for tacloban has turned out to be false
I might be going out on a limb here but I think the media is blowing up the security situation. The security incidents to date should not delay humanitarian delivery.
@Magda - health services in many places simply aren't functioning. medical centres and their staff have been directly affected so Red Cross is bringing in two fully equipped basic health units to set up in areas that are not being serviced. these are fully staffed and equipped. Poor nutrition, coupled with dirty water and trauma is a recipe for a secondary health disaster
@IHRR For many years, our priority was on building community resilience because this is the way to reduce the impact of the disaster. Also, the first responders during the first 72 hours of this kind of disaster is the community itself. If they are well prepared, more lives will be saved.
@ Agree completely Leonard
@mildren. Agreed - most people are simply depserate and incidents of armed robbery shouldn't be confused with desperate and hungry people looting food stores when they have no option
As food arrives in sufficient volume the situation will stabilise
Exactly - and this has happened in other countries after disasters of this scale. Its not a reflection of anything other than desperation.
People are looking to cover their basic needs and after six days, they are really desparate. We need to understand that.
Got to move on now, many thanks for the input -- best to all the hard working folks dealing with this
Alan @GoalIRELAND, many thanks for your input and all the best
We've got about 5 minutes left and it struck me reading all the comments that there is always a lot of soul-searching among humanitarian responders after such disasters ...what can be done to speed up the response, to co-ordinate better? How hopeful are you that these humanitarian dilemmas will lessen?
Last thoughts: my thoughts to all of you who are there helping out and to the Filipinos themselves. This is going to be a long road recovery. The healing will take some time, and they will need the sustained support from the international community.
On a positive note its great that media has committed such attention and resources to this story. Lets hope it doesn't ebb off when Anderson Cooper leaves town ...
We know alot of schools were destroyed and we need to put measures in place to get children back into education. This will take some time. We are planning to provide access to informal education at the shelter centres, with topics focuing on a peaceful environment, hygiene behaviours as well as games and psycho social support.
@Astrid Im not sure anyone has had time to think longer than the next five minutes at the moment.
Every disaster we learn something but every context is different and applying that learning is often difficult particularly when everyone is in crisis mode. But there is always order in chaos :)
Looking forward, we must encourage more coordination work between NGOs and local authorities. We hope that in the next 24 hours the relief will stabilise and communities will be able to cover their basic needs. We must not forget about the early recovery phase.
And there sadly lies the reason why the public at large don't see the impact of our efforts because the cameras have moved on
@Patrick @leonard - agree that media spotlight is likely to wane. climate angle is maybe a good one for keeping it up the news agenda a little while longer (philippines climate commissioner yeb sano originally from tacloban is your man)... also IPCC report out next march on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability could be a hook for more media attention.