Lack of shelter haunts ‘Yolanda’ survivors

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MANILA, July 30, 2014— It has been eight months since the devastating typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas, but as of today thousands of survivors are still living in tents.

Nearly a year after typhoon Yolanda, survivors continue to struggle with the uncertainty of temporary shelter, especially during the rainy season. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

Fr. Cesar Aculan, diocesan social action director of Calbayog in Western Samar, said many people displaced by the typhoon have long been awaiting permanent relocation.

“In Yolanda-hit areas, the basic problem is still the shelter program of the government which has not yet started here,” Aculan said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

He said that there are many organizations who want to help build permanent shelter, but the availability of land for resettlement remains a major challenge particularly in the towns of Basey and Marabut.

“Even if there’s available relocation site, the process takes too long,” he lamented.

With the rainy season in full swing and while other municipalities are still looking for relocation sites, transitional shelters have been made for the survivors for the meantime.

“So it’s transitional shelter first just to get them out of the tents instead of pushing for the permanent housing,” Aculan said.

In Region 8 alone, more than 14,000 Yolanda survivors or 3, 096 families are still languishing in tents as of July. (CBCPNews)

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