Typoon Haiyan One Year On
On the 8th of November 2013, Romeo Caayo’s house was completely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. He lived with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and five grandchildren in a one-roomed wooden structure near Jaro, on Leyte Island.
Leyte Island was particularly badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan– the strongest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometres per hour and storm surge waves of up to 8 metres high. In total, more than 14 million people were affected by the Typhoon with approximately 4.1 million displaced and over 7,000 people dead or missing.
14 million people were affected by Typhoon Haiyan
In order to recover the family’s home and livelihood, his wife travelled almost 1,000 km to Manila to find work in domestic service while his son travels each day to nearby Jaro to seek construction work. Romeo’s daughter-in-law left the family a few months after the Typhoon so Romeo cares for his five grandchildren full-time.
Through Irish Aid humanitarian funding provided to our partner GOAL, Romeo Caayo was supported to become trained in carpentry and was provided with materials, tools and labour to build a new home. The house is much stronger than his previous home and has been designed by GOAL in collaboration with the local authorities to be resistant to strong winds and future typhoons.
During a visit by members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Philippines to view Irish Aid programmes and mark the one-year anniversary since Typhoon Haiyan, Romeo proudly showed off his new home where he now feels much safer with his family and hopeful for the future.