BUILDing Sustainable Action for Fisher folks’ Enhanced livelihoods towards Resiliency (BUILD SAFER)

 

Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, devastated the Philippines in November 8, 2013. The cyclone

caused so much destruction in the Visayas, particularly in Samar and Leyte, killing at least 6,300 and

injuring 28,626 while around 1,785 are still missing. The impact was widespread, affecting a total of

3,424,593 families or around 16,070,181 persons in 44 provinces, covering Regions IV‐A, IV‐B, V, VI, VII,

VIII, X, XI and CARAGA (Agusan & Surigao provinces). More than 1 million suffered housing damages—

around half were totally damaged while the other half sustained partial damages. A total of 90 billion as of April 14, 2014 worth of infrastructure,  productive  assets,  social  and  cross‐sectoral assets were damaged.

 

Northern Cebu, being in the direct path of the typhoon was one of the hard‐hit areas. The super typhoon made its 3rd and 4th landfall in Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island, respectively after

crossing Guian, Eastern Samar and Tolosa, Leyte.

 

Bantayan Island is located northwest of mainland Cebu while Daanbantayan is  in  the  northernmost  tip  of  Cebu  mainland.  Bantayan  Island  is  composed  of  3  municipalities - Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos. Bantayan municipality has the  largest  population,  biggest  land  area  of  around  8,168 hectares  and  the  most  number  of  farmers  and  fishers. Madridejos town has 4,036 hectares and Sta. Fe with 2,902 hectares. Daanbantayan meanwhile is about 9,227 hectares. Bantayan Island has a total population of 136,960 divided into 3 municipalities while Daanbantayan has a population of 74,897

 

Damage and Losses

 

The Cebu Provincial Government reported a total of 122,482 damaged houses for Northern Cebu.  Out

of this figure, Bantayan and Daanbantayan suffered the most, with 22,629 and 20,067 respectively.

Homes and buildings constructed of native materials were completely destroyed. These structures make

up the majority of the poor coastal community homes along the shores of Daanbanatayan and Bantayan

Island.

 

Livelihoods  and  employment  were  heavily  affected  as  well.  Based  on  the  Office  of  Provincial

Agriculturist, Cebu Provincial Government, the total damages in Northern Cebu for livelihoods reached 

PhP1.3 billion, 63% of which were from 3 Bantayan island municipalities while Daanbantayan got 7% of

total damages/losses. 

 

Being a coastal area, fishing is the main livelihood for the four municipalities. With high winds and the

storm surge, the fishery sector suffered the highest rates of asset loss, leading to livelihood setbacks. As

Table 1 shows, damages in the fishery sector reached PhP 100 million. Specifically, 2,238 fishing boats

were damaged, 99% of which were from the small or traditional fishermen.

 

After Typhoon Haiyan, much damage has been reported to the mangrove ecosystems. However, no

damage  assessments  on  the  mangrove  destruction  has  been  done,  but  fisher  folk  leaders  from

Bantayan Island reported that an average of 50% was damaged. Mangrove areas in Barangay Sungko

and Obo‐ob also sustained around 30‐50% damages after the typhoon. These are 2 barangays with big

mangrove cover in the Municipality of Bantayan. The areas enumerated above needs to be rehabilitated

for it to continue providing the necessary environmental and risk mitigation services. Coral reefs were

also damaged with the branching corals showing great physical damage. According to a study, pelagic

and reef fish abundance and biomass decreased by up to 80 ‐ 90% after the typhoon especially inside

the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

 

The target families live in coastal communities in Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island and majority of

these families are highly dependent on coastal fisheries for their livelihoods. Most of these coastal

communities are poor and in fact the fisher folks are considered to be the poorest sector in the country.

 

With massive destruction from typhoon Haiyan to their households and productive assets including the

coastal resource base, the affected population is now facing a higher degree of vulnerability that could

render them unable to face another disaster in the future as they have the fewest resources and ability

to recover their livelihoods. This condition with the attendant inter‐related causes surfaced during the

problem analysis that Tambuyog Development Center  facilitated in the target areas and is summarized

in the diagram below.

 

Project Intervention

 

The project is being implemented in 15 coastal barangays of the four (4) municipalities of Northern Cebu

‐ Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe and Madridejos in partnership with the Lutheran World Relief (LWR).

 

The project addresses the increased vulnerabilities of the fifteen (15) coastal barangays, 10

of which are in Bantayan Island while five (5) are in Daanbantayan after the onslaught of Typhoon

Yolanda (International Name Haiyan). Contributing to the inherent vulnerability of island and fishing

communities, as well as the high poverty incidence in the fishing sector, are the damaged and/or lost

primary livelihood assets, lack of supplemental livelihood/ income sources and the limited adaptive

capacity of coastal communities to climate related changes. The lack of localized updated weather and

climate related information and plans further lessen the  capacity of the communities to respond to the

ever changing needs of the coastal and fishing communities. 

 

The goal of the project for the 2,500 partner- beneficiaries to recover and rebuild their livelihoods in ways to maximize their resilience to  future  disasters. 

 

BUILD SAFER aims  to  achieve  the  following; 

 

(1)  Disaster‐affected people from Bantayan Island and Daanbantayan increase livelihood diversification to improve resilience to shocks  and  stresses; 

(2)  Disaster‐affected  people  from  Bantayan  Is  and  Daanbantayan  increase productivity from  primary  livelihoods  to  improve  resilience  to  shocks  and  stresses;  and, 

(3) Communities have improved absorptive and adaptive capacities in livelihood resilience.

 

These will be achieved through the proposed strategies including the number of beneficiaries/participants for each: