The ongoing situation following the Recent Floods in Manila
October 11th, 2009
A large number of people (more than 2,000) in Bagong Silangan are still homeless and they are staying in the covered court of the Barangay. The living conditions are cramped and very difficult.
The FCJ Sisters are the local partner in this area of Manila for Caritas Australia. You can read their account of the damage caused by Typhoon Ketsana (known as Ondoy in the Philippines) on their website. The website is powerful in that it shows the crisis in Manila in context of many other situations where disaster relief is needed. (You can donate to Caritas Australia on their website.)
The FCJ Center is working with an area of the Barangay which was badly affected. Some homes were totally destroyed and others are in bad condition. 105 families live in this place called Calamiong. They gave this name to their community when it was officially established in 2005. Calamiong is an Ilongo word meaning powerless!
The main problems are fungal infections, diarrhea, high blood pressure and colds and coughs from the dirty mud and water and the incessant rain. Dengue fever is a danger; there is still a lot of garbage lying around and plenty of mud so mosquitoes abound!
The FCJ Center is also working closely with the Carmelite Fathers who run the Parish. One area of the Barangay, Area 5, was totally devastated.
The big question, of course, is how and when people will rebuild their homes. There are many issues around this. Can people rebuild where they were before? Many people were living in the flood plains of rivers so the flooding could happen again. The local government seems to want to relocate them to areas outside Manila like Bulacan, but of course the people do not want to go as they will have no means of survival there.
The FCJ Center is grateful for your concern.
(For an earlier news item on the floods in Manila, click here.)