Ahead of the construction of shelters, Iloilo CODE-NGOs distributed repair kits to households with shelters that were partially damaged by the typhoon. The beneficiaries were selected from 15 barangays in two municipalities.
The materials in the shelter repair kit included lumber, plywood, galvanized iron sheets and nails. It enabled poor families in island barangays to repair their houses. The distribution of repair kits has a total of 328 household with 1,571 individual beneficiaries.
The shelters that were constructed, on the other hand, has latrines and the household has access to water. It was constructed based from the SPHERE standard and minimum standard requirement set by the Shelter Cluster of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
Iloilo CODE-NGOs also facilitated negotiations from landowners in order to ensure that beneficiaries get security of tenure.
By the end of the project, Iloilo CODE-NGOs was able to complete the construction of shelters totaling to 240 units and turned over to beneficiaries in four barangays totaling to 937 individuals served.
The shelter construction is among the most challenging to the project staff given its demanding logistical requirement. The staff and implementing partners has faced the following challenges:
Availability of materials in the area especially that project sites are in remote places.
Difficult travel condition especially in the project sites in the islands because of unpredictable weather which at times changes on a daily basis resulting to drastic change in sea condition.
Difficulty in hauling and transport of materials from docking sites to the construction area because of distance and lack of appropriate transport equipment.
Lack of essential basic services like power and water needed in construction work.
Difficult communications from mainland to island barangays because of poor mobile phone signal also hampered coordination work.
Stringent legal procedures and requirements in securing approval for land tenure from land owners.
Core Shelter in Polopina
In spite of the many challenges presented along the way and during the implementation of the project, Iloilo CODE-NGOs was able undertake alternative practical approaches that overcame the bureaucratic policy restrictions on shelter development especially land acquisition and procurement of services. Iloilo CODE-NGOs managed to utilize available resources at the barangay level and gained leverage from its community organizing effort which developed leaders and facilitators from the partnerships that it has established with the community.
All the difficulties confronted by both the staff and the contractors and community partners are no match on the happiness and contentment expressed by the beneficiaries upon receiving the shelter. The beneficiaries did not only expressed appreciation but thankful having gained a sense of dignity and security. They no longer worry having to stay on danger zones or under the rain or having their houses destroyed once another typhoon comes its way.
They have developed unity, cooperation and discipline as they regained their sense of collectiveness and community by organizing themselves into homeowners’ associations. Four homeowners associations were organized and registered with the Department of Labor and Employment. This ensures the sustainability of these associations and opened opportunities for government support and funding for other development needs. The officers are also able to lead their associations and implement policies, rules and regulations accordingly.