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Haiyan survivors now face daunting task of rebuilding lives

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 23rd, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The story of one family that fled the ravaged Filipino city of Tacloban after super typhoon Haiyan, or "Yolanda," echoes many. One plucky mother gathered up her family and fled as far as she could north. That crisis over with, the family now wants to return to Tacloban to restart their fishing livelihood - but now, can not. The government has declared their former coastal home a "no-build" zone. She wonders if her family would have been better off perishing in the typhoon. "At least then we would be together as a family," she says tearfully, the prospect of her family having to split up before long.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Philippines has an average of 20 typhoons a year, and as a result, the government has ruled that no one can live less than 40 meters from the shoreline. There should be no human settlements in coastal areas and on riverbanks, experts say.

However -- a lack of information on when and where resettlement will take place has left thousands of people worried and uncertain about their future. Many are concerned there will be no jobs at resettlement sites and they have received little help in finding alternative livelihoods.

Help feed the hungry in the Philippines by going here --

Haiyan killed nearly 8,000 people and damaged 1.1 million houses and over four million people still remain displaced. Many of these displaced peoples are relying on handouts to get by. New government edicts will separate many fishing families from the only life they have ever known.

The government in the Philippines, which has been building temporary shelters to house the displaced has denied allegations of corruption after media reports said the bunkhouses, as they're known locally, may cost much less than the government's price tag of $21,465.

Each shelter has 24 units and each unit, measuring 8.64 square meters, can house one family. The shared toilets, shower and cooking area are at the back.

A worker says the roofs of some units had leaked during heavy rains in the past weeks. At another, the rains have left green, stagnant water under the units.

Many survivors have started to rebuild in "no-build zones" despite the risk of being removed.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

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