Initial reports from Heifer International’s Philippines office state that all Heifer project families are safe after Typhoon Hagupit, but many have reported damage to homes, crops and animal sheds.
Heifer International Philippines project participant surveys her damaged home
Program Officer Nieva Sambas said the farming families she spoke to Tuesday experienced heavy rains and strong winds for almost 24 hours as the typhoon passed over the central region of the island nation this weekend.
"The good news is all project participants are safe, and as they said, they are more prepared now," Sambas said.
Heifer Philippines made broad preparations for the Typhoon Hagupit, called Ruby locally, ensuring that all staff and partners were aware of the incoming storm so that they could implement their Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training (CMDRR). They moved animals and family to identified shelters, prepared food for at least three days and ensured adequate supply of fodder and medicine.
Three large Heifer projects, which support about 9,400 families, were in the path of the storm. Heifer Philippines has been working with farmers since 1954 and has 17 projects throughout the Philippines.
Sambas said initial assessments indicate a few farming families lost their homes to the typhoon and many others sustained at least partial damage. Seven goats were killed, and three-quarters of project participants said their animal sheds were either damaged or destroyed.
While Heifer is not a relief organization, we supplement the work of relief organizations to help our farmers recover and then shift to long-term solutions so our participants can be better equipped to handle disasters.
Heifer International is committed to supporting robust and sustainable communities in areas where we serve. In the event of a natural disaster, we implement longer-term rehabilitation and restoration of livestock and agricultural systems.
ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @Heifer or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).