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    Posted February 28, 2014 by
    Sarasota, Florida

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    Philippines still an emergency over 100 days on

    Photo: HILANTAGAAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. An aerial view of a ShelterBox tent placed where the family's home once stood. (Courtesy of Joseph Ferris III/YPDR)

    Over 100 days have passed since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Visayan Islands in the Philippines. For many, life is starting to return to normal with rebuilding of homes, shops and businesses underway. But ShelterBox is still finding isolated pockets of emergency need due to the country’s complex geography as well as the large scale of the disaster. The Shelter Cluster, a coordination hub for humanitarian agencies working in the Philippines, says the country is still facing a shelter emergency.

    ShelterBox continues to bring emergency shelter and other vital aid to communities in need across the four islands of Leyte, Cebu, Panay and Bantayan.

    John Cecil-Wright is a response team volunteer who has been working in Daanbantayan, a municipality at the very top tip of Cebu. He speaks of what ShelterBox has been doing there to help families who have lost their homes.

    "We were given information that there was a considerable need in Daanbantayan so over the past week, we have been carrying out detailed needs assessments. All of the schools we have seen are without roofs and many homes have been damaged or destroyed.

    Cramped and squalid conditions

    "We have come across multiple families sharing one small dwelling and living in very cramped and squalid conditions as they try to rebuild their homes.

    "We have also seen a number of cases where families have been split up across the municipality as there simply is not enough space for one entire family to move in with another.”

    The team is finding that families need to move out of the temporary shelter they have constructed on the site of their old home while they build a permanent house.

    Return to a sense of normality

    "In these three different situations, we have been able to provide shelter for the families, giving them more space and privacy in some cases or bringing them together in others. For all families they can now begin to rebuild their lives in a greater level of comfort, helping them return to a sense of normality.

    "In addition to assessing the need for tents, we have also been assessing requirements for other aid," added Cecil-Wright.

    For many families, rebuilding could take up to a year. ShelterBox continues to provide vital supplies such as tool kits to help them rebuild, mosquito nets to protect against disease, and solar lamps as many homes are still without power.

    For more information about ShelterBox’s relief efforts, visit www.shelterboxusa.org/typhoon.
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