In the Philippines local AMURT & AMURTEL volunteers responded to massive floods in early August in and around Manila. Throughout the month they distributed cooked food, bread, drinking water, and hygiene items to more than 10,000 people.
Many of the flooded areas had been transformed into Venice-like towns, with people moving through canals on “Gondolas” to get, say, from a local bakery to their residence. However, unlike the famous city in Italy, these waters were murky, the scenery depressing and life challenging.
Such was the situation when the volunteer teams finally reached Poblacion Tres, San Pablo Norte and Gatid, all near Santa Cruz town in Laguna Province, on
August 23rd. It had been almost two weeks since the monsoon clouds dumped voluminous rainfall, yet these areas remained submerged, making life extremely difficult.
The volunteer teams established food distribution stations in houses and on platforms and waited for word to get around. The local population came in pedicabs, makeshift rafts, wash basins and anything that floated, to avail themselves of the hot macaroni soup and wheat bread the volunteers had brought. The process was slow and steady, and at the end of the day 1,671 mouths were fed.
While in most of Manila the water has receded and the resilient Filipinos work to recover their lives, for the nearby provinces it will take several more months for life to return to normal. The people of these areas will need continued support until then.