For the second time in two years, Lourdes Arcuino Negro is in the midst of rebuilding her home.
Typhoon Hagupit made landfall in the central Philippines on December 7, just 13 months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the island nation.
The last typhoon caused the heaviest damage to projects in the Ormoc area where Lourdes lives. Of the 300 project participant homes there, 280 sustained damage while 20 were destroyed. Another 260 animal sheds were damaged while 40 were destoryed. The Ormoc project lost seven goats, and between 80 and 90 percent of crops. All told, the initial assessments put the cost of the damage around $110,000.
“I became helpless when Typhoon Haiyan hit us after my retirement,” Lourdes said. “However, I was relieved after Heifer and other partners provided us shelter assistance, agricultural seeds and technologies just so we can rehabilitate and restore our assets.”
Lourdes, 49, spent the year between the storms rebuilding and rehabilitating the seven acres of farmland her family had passed down to her. The farm was the main source of her income, and she used the money from it to care for her four children.
Just when her farm was up and running again, Typhoon Hagupit hit. Lourdes said it was painful to see the farm and crops wiped out again. She had invested so much in the last year.
Lourdes lost crops including peanuts, sweet potato or camote, corn and veggies. Her home was also destroyed, the goat shed partially damaged and the forage crops flattened and flooded. Her goats, she says, are recovering, but she worries for them. She has hope for her banana and coconut crops, but that land where they are planted was also damaged.
“Recovering is for me an impossible case, because, even after Typhoon Haiyan happened, I have not yet recovered. My problem is that I lost all my investments, my money,” she said.
However, she says the values that the project instilled in her heart and mind made her stronger. Lourdes is currently staying with her daughter, and though she’s uncertain about her future, she says she is still hopeful that she can survive even this challenge.