Unfulfilled promises still hounds ‘Yolanda’ survivors after 3 years

TACLOBAN CITY — Three years after supertyphoon Yolanda struck, survivors from a badly hit community, who witnessed how ships destroyed lives and houses, are still dealing with unfulfilled promises.

Hyacinth Abuda, 22, of Anibong district still lives in a makeshift house with her husband and a child. Their family built a house near a shipwreck converted into a landmark.

“We really want to transfer to a safer place, but the problem is permanent houses are not yet livable. Another thing is that we did not get the emergency shelter assistance since we are recipients of permanent housing projects,” said Abuda, who lost a daughter and four relatives when storm surges washed out their village.

Abuda’s hand-to-mouth existence is supported by her husband’s meager earning from a barber shop.

Her neighbor, Vicenta Segunda, 47, a mother of four, shared the same sentiment. It is still unclear to her when they will be moving to the resettlement site.

“It would really be comfortable to us to have a permanent house, but as what I’ve heard, there is no electricity and stable water supply in relocation sites. I am also worried of what to do for a living,” said Segunda, an assistant to the village secretary.

The two mothers and their families did everything to survive when Yolanda unleashed its wrath in this city on Nov. 8, 2013. They stepped on anything and clung unto something for dear life.

Residents of Anibong district are among the 14,000 families in the city who will be moved to the northern relocation sites, away from danger zones.

The city government admitted that lack of water and other needed facilities for new townships derail the pace of transferring families.

Anibong district is a coastal community near the city’s port. It is the village where 10 ships ran aground, killing several people and destroying houses in the process.

The actual bow of the M/V Eva Jocelyn, a cargo ship, was made into a memorial marker. This memorial is in honor of the residents who died when cargo vessels was swept ashore by wall of sea water. Jushua Marga & Yazmin Ellen Espina OJTs/PNA-northboundasia.com