Tacloban village conducts solar-powered drill

PRESS RELEASE |

TACLOBAN CITY, 28 July 2018 -- Just as National Disaster Resilience Month concludes this July, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors conducted an evacuation drill in Costa Brava, San Jose village, Tacloban City.

Costa Brava, along with other sitios in San Jose village, were among the most heavily hit during the onslaught of Yolanda almost five years ago.

Around 100 residents from Costa Brava, which lies along the shorelines of Cancabato Bay, were evacuated during the drill to the identified evacuation site at the San Jose Elementary School, about 700 meters away. They lit the school using the TekPaks, a portable solar device capable of powering lights, mobile and satellite phones, and medical devices.

Leading the drill were members of the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps, a volunteer group composed of responders from various local government units, humanitarian organizations, community groups and students. The Corps are trained to provide solar power to humanitarian and emergency responders.

“We need accessible energy sources in times of disasters. This is why we volunteered to join the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps and trained to help provide solar power not only to our communities but to others in need,” RE-Serve spokesperson Janice Bertulfo said.

This is the first time for the Corps to conduct a community drill of this scale here in Tacloban City, and they hope to extend their work in other parts of Eastern Visayas, she said. Their skills in operating a drone, satellite phones, and other response tools were also tested, she added.

The City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) of Tacloban also witnessed the drill in a bid to institutionalize this response mechanism into their CDRRM plan, particularly in addressing energy needs during disaster.

Energy plays a valuable role in humanitarian response and development, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a climate and energy policy group which helped initiate the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps through its Tacloban-based RE-Charge Pilipinas program.

“Despite many cases of Yolanda response work being hampered by the lack of energy sources, most people still assume that energy will be automatically be provided by the national government in post-disaster situations,” said Golda Hilario, ICSC associate for program development.

July is marked as National Disaster Resilience Month. This year’s theme is “Katatagan sa Kalamidad ay Makakamtan Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan” which calls for efforts to promote and build national resilience.

CONTACT:

TACLOBAN: Ahlette C. Reyes, +63999 973 9102

MANILA: AC Dimatatac, media@icsc.ngo

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