- Posted January 11, 2013 by
Remember the family that was living in a drainpipe?
Written by Carin van der Hor, country director Plan Philippines
Cameraman: Angelo (Enan) Melencio
A few weeks ago we brought you the story of Jocelyn and her family, who are living in a drainpipe after typhoon Pablo had destroyed their modest home.
It’s a few weeks later and we are back to see how they are doing.
We talked to Jocelyn and her family, and they are still living in the drainpipe. In fact, there are now two families living in here. They were neighbours before and now they share this pipe.
The families are not receiving much help. They told us they are now trying to save up money to rebuild their houses. But the problem is that they are looking to rebuild in exactly the same spot where their houses were washed away from in the first place.
We have advised them that this is not safe (and neither is living in this culvert), but we can also see that there is hardly anywhere else to go.
Every day the two women walk to the nearest village (barangay) to line up for their daily food rations. And then they walk back again to their temporary home: the drainpipe under the highway.
Jocelyn and her family are doing relatively well, but the family of the neighbor has a problem: the husband has arthritis and he can’t stay in the cold, damp pipe. So he sleeps outside, in a makeshift shelter.
Before the typhoon the family was poor, but they could sustain themselves with their corn crops and with hiring themselves out as day laborers: they would weed other peoples fields and would basically take up any job that would give them a few pesos.
Now those jobs have gone, as many of the crops in the surrounding villages have been washed away, just like Jocelyn’s.
The road to recovery is going to be a long one, but as Jocelyn says: “At least we’re still here, and for that I am grateful.”