Lawaan, Eastern Samar: Latest Assessment of Needs by the Diocese of Borongan

from Lawaan.com via Fr. Neil Gavan Tenefrancia

LAWAAN (Latest Assessment as of Nov. 27)
by Diocese of Borongan-Communications Group

-Immediate Needs: Shelter, Food, Mats

-International organzations such as USAID and WFP (World Food Programme) has been partnering with the local parish for relief distribution as the municipal hall could not accommodate the volume of relief goods in terms of warehousing. This is on top of the ongoing relief distribution of goods coursed through either the Diocese of Borongan or the parish. WFP is very strict with their no re-packing of goods policy.

-The marine sanctuaries in Monbon, Maslog, Taguite, Betaog, Guinob-an and Bulusao are at risk. Fisherfolk with surviving boats (bugsay) could no longer venture out into deep sea without the motors, and might begin fishing in these protected areas. Some of the corals in these areas have been reported by some as destroyed by the typhoon. Some of the sand bars were likewise washed out. There are at least 12 seaweed plantations in Lawaan.

-The mangroves in Maslog, Lawaan (Poblacion) and Guinob-an are also at risk. There were reports that some were cutting branches from the mangroves to be used as firewood for cooking as an alternative to LPG.

-Cash for Work in partnership with DOLE (for clearing operations): PHP 260 per day. 75 workers per barangay. 15 workers for week (5 days). Program to run for 3 weeks.

-To utilize dead and fallen coconut trees, LGU plans on implementing a Cash for Work program to clear copra land for replanting with chainsaws to be provided by the LGU. They plan on asking coconut tree owners to turn over the coconut trees to the LGU to convert them into coconut lumber to be distributed to families for shelter reconstruction. As a form of cash transfer, can the LGU purchase these coconut trees instead to provide coconut famers with much needed cash for rehabilitation?

-Asset Loss: Those engaged in livestock production are being forced to sell pork prematurely due to lack of feeds.

-Migration: Around 10-15% of the population in Lawaan have already left the town for Manila. It is likewise difficult to finalize the list of beneficiaries per barangay because of the constant migration of people (some are leaving for Manila, some are coming back from Tacloban and other towns). Some children are forced to work in Manila due to the loss of livelihood.

-There was a reported case of heart attacks in Lawaan after Yolanda. Some are also reportedly depressed.

-The hydro-plant in Lawaan will reportedly be tapped to provide electricity throughout the Appendix area (Lawaan to Quinapondan). There is a working water system in the poblacion (but water has to be boiled for drinking), artesian well for the other towns.

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