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Community builds back better

In June 2015, we completed the Building Back Better project, which strengthened the Tacloban community to rebuild their lives after the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan.

Conducted with support from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Tacloban’s residents were able to improve and rebuild shelters and water and sanitation facilities and reduce the risks of future disasters. Together we built 364 housing units and supported the repair of over 900 partially damaged homes. We installed new solar-powered street lights and trained community members in urban gardening.

A key project goal was community ownership. Through a community contracting scheme, residents were trained in carpentry and plumbing which empowered them to build their own houses and play active roles in rebuilding stronger neighbourhoods and a more positive long-term future.

Residents were trained in carpentry and plumbing which empowered them to build their own houses and play active roles in rebuilding stronger neighbourhoods

This holistic approach to Tacloban’s community rehabilitation serves as a model for others to emulate as they work at rebuilding their lives after Typhoon Haiyan.

Importantly, since the completion of the project, community members have already shown great willingness to sustain a number of initiatives that they started under the project.

"Now that we have a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), we can quickly respond to emergencies," says Kim, 17, a CERT member and youth leader in his community. "People in the community find it easy to report emergencies because the area now has its own response team.”