Relief, Rescue and Reconstruction
When disasters strike, it is always the landless poor who often fall victim because they are forced to squat in makeshift houses on top of steep slopes, riverbanks, and shorelines. They are constantly exposed to storm surges, landslides and floods. In urban areas, many poor families live under bridges, on top of unstable landfills, and in flood prone areas.
Each year, natural disasters occur in varying intensities. They leave a trail of property damages, loss of lives, and displaced families. Because of these, the government ends up spending millions every year in relief and rehabilitation. And to make this perennial problem worse, the recent climate change brings forth natural disasters that are more unpredictable and with unprecedented magnitude.
From Relief to Rescue
When disasters strike, relief and rehabilitation efforts are undoubtedly of utmost importance. However, the cycle of disaster and relief must be stopped. The landless poor families living in danger areas must be rescued and transferred to a much safer location where they could build a dignified and sustainable community.
Gawad Kalinga is proactively building these communities that are much safer from natural calamities and with security of tenure. Without waiting for calamities to happen, these rescue efforts must be scaled-up, both in rural and urban areas.
Gawad Kalinga’s rescue strategy includes:
Providing Secured Land
Aside from security of tenure for the landless poor families, the area on which the community will be built has to be relatively safe from natural disasters. Proper legal and environment clearances must be secured for all the sites.
Building an Empowered Community
A good way to mitigate the effects of natural disasters is to have an organized and empowered community, where the residents help each other and share common values. GK seeks to strengthen our beneficiaries with the right values and leadership skills so that when disaster comes they are empowered to care for their families and their community.
Raising a Caring Community
For the past years, Gawad Kalinga communities that are located in safe areas have become incidental “evacuation centers” for the neighboring communities affected by natural disasters. Because of this, the Gawad Kalinga residents have to be trained and equipped to take care of evacuees.