Philippines typhoon recovery: Restoring clean water to schools and homes

World Vision provides generators to bring clean water to Filipino communities ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

By Leoniza Morales, World Vision Philippines
Published February 17, 2014 at 12:15pm PST

In Tabogon, a municipality in the Philippines’ northern Cebu province, the water taps are running again, bringing clean water to Somosa Elementary School.

Clean water and sanitation critical for recovery

After Typhoon Haiyan severely damaged the school and knocked out the electric power in November, many children and families had only unsafe, open wells to drink from.

“We were worried where to get drinking water for the children when the classes resumed, and how to clean the classrooms of the mud and debris left by the typhoon,” says teacher Armae Curiba. They needed water for hand-washing and toilets as well.

When classes resumed, “we asked the students to bring water every day that they would need while in school,” Armae says. “It was very difficult, as they live far from the school, and the deep well is located in another village.”

Many children were late for classes and arrived at school weary after walking miles for water.

Generators keep clean water flowing

Now World Vision has provided a generator so Somosa Elementary School and nearby homes have a steady supply of clean water. Though power has been restored, the electric cooperative imposes rotating brownouts. On some days, the generator is being used for 12 hours to keep the water flowing.

After a disaster, “access to clean water is an immediate priority to ensure good health of the community, especially the children,” says Ajab Macapagat, World Vision’s manager for the Haiyan recovery project on Cebu island.

In Julita town, Leyte province, World Vision and UNICEF provided a generator to restore the water system and decontaminated the water tank. The local government operates and maintains the water system with community participation, says Ronnie Santos, World Vision’s water and sanitation coordinator.

“We not only provide materials; we want the community to be part of the project and to own it,” Ronnie says. “We mobilize and encourage them to contribute what they have, like diesel for the generator.”

Says 55-year-old Fe Heria, a resident of Dita village, “It [the water system] is the best thing we received after the typhoon.”

Learn more

Read about more local recovery accomplishments three months after Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines.

Help now

Thank God for the progress toward recovery in the Philippines. Please pray for ongoing rebuilding projects and long-term plans for recovery.

Sponsor a child in the Philippines. When a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan strikes, sponsorship provides a child and entire community with life-saving basics and fosters resiliency in the aftermath.

Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s Philippines Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will help us deliver life-saving assistance, like clean water, in the aftermath of sudden-onset emergencies in the Philippines, including Typhoon Haiyan.