Chainsaw Gangs of the Philippines

ARTICLE: THIS APPEARED IN THE REDR AUSTRALIA NEWSLETTER

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After Typhoon Haiyan obliterated close to two million coconut palms in Eastern Samar Province, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) predicted only six months before the timber would become unsalvageable. In this time ‘Chainsaw Gangs’ were quickly formed to cut and process the wood before it rotted, to prevent not only waste but also the potential pest infestation of newly planted seedlings.

Salvaging the timber was vital to the humanitarian response in the Philippines, as much of the wood was utilised in building shelters for the communities displaced by Typhoon Haiyan. Albert Spiteri, a RedR Australia engineer and shelter expert was deployed to assist the International Organisation for Migration. He oversaw not only shelter construction activities but also the humanitarian effort in improving disaster risk reduction and community preparedness.

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Emergency Preparation & Response in Laos

ARTICLE – THIS FIRST APPEARED IN THE REDR AUSTRALIA NEWSLETTER

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The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is subject to many disasters during the wet season (July—October) ranging flooding, landslides, and the impact of large scatterings of unexploded munitions from the Second Indochina War. The country is rated the 42nd most vulnerable country to climate change, citing high sensitivity and exposure to climate related hazards, and a low capacity to cope with the impacts of weather variables.

Throughout its monsoon season the landscape is embattled with floods, causing destruction, displacement of people, and loss of life. This severely affects the food security of many communities, and heightens the chance of disease and epidemics.

Assisting the ongoing humanitarian response, RedR Australia’s Training Manager Alan Johnson is working with WFP as Head of Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer in Vientiane, Laos.

For the last 100 days Alan has been involved in a multitude of responsibilities, ranging from Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) trips, development of preparedness and response SOP’s, to staff training & capacity building.

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The Philippines: Coordination in a Disaster

ARTICLE: THIS APPEARED IN THE REDR AUSTRALIA NEWSLETTER

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In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, Sutapa Kabir Howlader found herself faced with a community which had lost millions of homes, and thousands of lives. As an Interagency Coordinator for Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP), and Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), Sutapa was responsible for giving a voice to the people afflicted by the tropical storms.

The aim of AAP is to ensure that community feedback and accountability mechanisms are integrated into future policies and planning. The importance of facilitating a dialogue between the people affected by a disaster and the organisations assisting them is vital to ensure that all decisions and policies made are properly informed.

While this regards actively seeking out feedback to improve humanitarian policy and practice, Sutapa also sought out breaches in these areas, such as violations, physical and psychological abuse.

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RedR Australia Monitoring Relations & Training

ARTICLE: THIS FIRST APPEARED IN THE REDR AUSTRALIA NEWSLETTER

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RedR Australia considers it a basic duty to maintain familiar, face-to-face relationships with all their deployees and the humanitarian agencies they’re working for.By keeping our human relations strong, both RedR Australia and their deployees are able to work together openly, comfortably and to their full capacity.

To ensure this RedR Australia recently sent Carolyn Cummins, one of our Programme Officers, to monitor relations with our deployee Carly Learson in Yangon & Sittwe in Myanmar.In these regions, which have endured ongoing bouts of ethnic infighting between the Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists, approx. 140,000 people are currently displaced and living in makeshift camps.

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Philippines Up Close

ARTICLE: THIS FIRST APPEARED IN THE REDR AUSTRALIA ANNUAL REPORT

One month since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines

Each year, at least 20 tropical storms damage communities across the country, with the worst resulting in extensive casualties and loss of property and livelihoods. In November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most savage storms ever recorded in the area, struck the Philippines.

Its winds, which reached unprecedented speeds of 300 km/h, wiped out millions of homes and killed over 6,000 people.

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Food Security in the Solomon Islands

ARTICLE – THIS FIRST APPEARED ON REDR.ORG.AU

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When flash floods ripped through the Solomon Islands in April 2014, the country and its people were faced with unprecedented destruction. The relentless downpour of rain, caused by a tropical depression which was later grew into Cyclone Ita, heavily affected the capital Honiara and the eastern plains of the Guadalcanal province.

Entire riverside communities and infrastructure, built alongside the Matanikau River through central Honiara, were completely washed away when its banks broke. Overall, the floods resulted in 24 confirmed deaths and displaced a further 50,000 to 60,000 people. This meant that thousands were forced into basic and limited evacuations shelters, with up to 5,500 reported in one centre alone.

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