Wanted: More shelter kits to build temporary homes

It has been three weeks and two days since Yolanda came and went. She has left just too many painful and uncomfortable traces of her visit. What do the people need now? I’d say shelter, no matter how temporary, no matter how modest.

In Leyte IV, for instance, which includes Ormoc City and the municipalities of Albuera, Kananga, Merida, Isabel, Palompon, Matagob, there are over 80,000 houses affected in varying degrees, being roofless the most common denominator of all.

How can you help? I am inspired by a Swiss aid group that has been to different areas in the district. They gave away Shelter Kits and it has brought so much joy to the recipients. I am copying their formula, and so far the costing itemized below is the best deal we have been able to get for.

I know that in time, organized groups will extend a hand to help build permanent homes for the victims displaced by this tragedy. But I also know that when they do come, they will not be able to take on the entire district all at once. The work that needs to be done is just too great. That is why these shelter kits will be very important, because as the people wait for help to get to them they have to stay dry and protected from the elements. Right now they use tarpaulins, umbrellas, and raincoats for shelter from the rains that come almost nightly. This kind of weather is expected to drag on till late February. We need those shelter kits badly. With that, at least the people in one household can sleep at night secure that there is a roof over their heads, literally. I know staring at a starry night sounds romantic, but that just isn’t the case anymore when doing so ceases to be a matter of choice. There is lots of wood lying around, pretending to be part of the debris. Those can be used for walls if need be. That is why a handsaw is essential in the kit, so the people can cut the fallen wood to size. We are going back to basics here. But we cannot complain, we are thankful to be alive. We just have to accept the situation, make the best of it, do our part and move on.

Right now, we have been able to raise enough funds to buy 3,000 Shelter Kits. Simply put, if one family were to donate even just one Shelter Kit, I just need about 77,000 donors more for the entire Fourth District of Leyte to be covered. So help us God.


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