Survivors commemorate Yolanda disaster with solar-powered evacuation drill

MARABUT, SAMAR | October 29, 2016 – Ahead of its third anniversary, survivors of Typhoon Yolanda on Saturday commemorated the disaster by conducting an evacuation drill in Tinabanan Cave, the designated shelter of the barangay (village) of the same name.

This particular cave has saved villagers' lives during the Yolanda disaster as well as other disasters and wars in the past. Part of the drill involves lighting the main portion of the cave, the toilets and makeshift kitchen using the TekPak, a portable solar device capable of powering lights, mobile phones, and medical devices. Portable solar-powered electricity, like the TekPak, is currently being proposed to become an integral component in disaster preparedness programs and humanitarian work. In the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, many communities further suffered when they lacked immediate access to electricity or ran out of fuel to power their generators and light their kerosene lamps.

 

“Our Yolanda experience three years ago taught us that access to better energy source is an urgent need in vulnerable communities. Renewable energy should become a vital component in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian work because it is easy to deploy and is not reliant on complicated logistics during disasters,” said Arturo Tahup, Project Coordinator of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). The Institute has provided training on solar installations and trouble-shooting to hundreds of typhoon Yolanda survivors, including those from Tinabanan, under its Solar Scholars program which aims to turn Yolanda survivors into first responders in times of disaster.

The evacuation drill was organized by ICSC, in partnership with the local government ofMarabut, Food for the Hungry, and other civil society organizations.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a policy group in the Philippines promoting low-carbon development initiatives, sustainable energy solutions and fair climate policy in vulnerable countries.

For more information:

AC Dimatatac, Media Coordinator (+63 998 546 97 88)