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Inclusive community-based disaster preparedness

Recurrent natural disasters have made the Eastern Visayas region one of the most disaster prone areas in the Philippines. Frequent typhoons have led to heavy loss of life and destruction of livelihoods. In December 2015, the already vulnerable population was hit by typhoon Nona, killing 51 people and destroying over 300,000 homes.

These disasters have taken their toll on the region. In the province of North Samar, over 50% of the population live under the national poverty line, with only two-thirds having access to clean drinking water. Many sources of drinking water and sanitation have been destroyed by the natural catastrophes leading to high rates of diarrhea and malnutrition.

After the typhoon in December 2015, Malteser International initially supplied affected households with hygiene kits and other necessary materials. Over 600 families were also supported in the reconstruction of their destroyed homes.

In order to be better prepared for future disasters, the local population in two municipalities, Catarman and Laoang, have benefitted from our capacity building trainings in the field of disaster risk reduction. The trainings started in October 2016 with emphasis on the integration of persons with disabilities, elderly people, women and children.

The Philippine legislation establishes clear chains of responsibility for disaster preparedness and management at local level. However, provincial competencies in the Northern Samar project region are inadequately developed and equipped to carry out the required responsibilities to prevent and reduce losses and damages caused by natural disasters; there is a lack of both knowledge and institutional capacity in the community, early warning systems are poor and evacuation centers are often unsafe or unavailable.

As a result of Typhoon Nona, water and sanitation facilities in the region have been heavily impaired. Natural disasters particularly affect vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, elderly people, children and single women. However, they are hardly taken into account when it comes to disaster risk management planning.


The project aims to strengthen the capacities of 13 communities in the municipalities of Catarman and Laoang in Norther Samar in the field of disaster risk reduction, thereby improving their resilience when faced with natural disasters in the future.

• Development of local training materials for community-based disaster risk reduction and training of local trainers
• Establishment of local disaster management groups and training in evacuation, first aid, search and rescue work with the aid of simulations
• Vulnerability and capacity assessments and development of plans for disaster risk reduction
• Implementation of small projects for risk reduction
• Assessments of WASH facilities in evacuation centers and support for the implementation of micro projects to improve facilities
• Development of locally adapted handbook on WASH in the event of a disaster and training of trainers on potable water supply, good sanitation and hygiene practices in the event of a disaster
• Enlightenment events on the subject of WASH at schools and at community level
• Development of media materials (films, posters) on disaster preparedness and awareness campaigns for disaster risk reduction in schools and communities
• Strengthening coordination among disaster management actors in the project region
• On-the-job training in disaster risk reduction and WASH for volunteers of the diocese of Catarman

Country info

Capital: Manila
Area: 300,000 km²
Population: approx. 93.4 million

Project data

Project duration: 01 October 2016 - 31 October 2018
Partners: Diocese Social Action Center Catarman, Philippine Association of the Order of Malta
Financing: German Federal Foreign Office (AA), German Relief Coalition (ADH)

Last udpdated: May 2017

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