Farmers, fisherfolk hardest-hit by Super Typhoon Rolly

The provinces hardest-hit by Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) include Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte in Bicol, parts of CALABARZON, MIMAROPA regions in Luzon, and Samar provinces in Visayas. Flash floods and heavy lahar flow from Mt. Mayon destroyed everything on its path including houses, trees, farms and livestock in Albay towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, Oas, Daraga. The strong wind gusts and rain brought by #RollyPH also resulted in flooding, landslides, and storm surges. The entire Bicol region experienced massive power outages, with Catanduanes and Masbate provinces still without electricity and stable communication lines as of today.

According to the NDRRMC, at least 10 individuals were killed and almost one million Filipinos are staying in packed evacuation centers. “Filipinos are even more vulnerable now because of COVID-19 with streamlined disaster frontliners and health protocols being observed. While #RollyPH weakened and did not wreck the central and northern parts of Luzon, between 19 million to 31million Filipinos were still affected and displaced by #RollyPH.”

“The Duterte government’s extreme negligence and delayed response all the more worsened Typhoon Rolly’s aftermath and damages. In the past 48 hours and especially while the Earth’s strongest typhoon of the year was lashing at the country, President Duterte is nowhere to be found while his Cabinet and minions acted as if there is no emergency and calamity situation. Duterte himself is the biggest disaster that has befell the Philippines. How can a President stay still and sleep soundly while thousands of Filipinos are trying to survive Typhoon Rolly? Duterte’s Noynoying is worse,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Agri, coastal provinces hardest-hit

Since last week before RollyPH made landfall, KMP has mobilized its Oplan Sagip Kanayunan relief and rehabilitation machinery to forewarn peasant communities to prepare, to help monitor the damages and effects of Typhoon Rolly, and to gather support and donation for typhoon-stricken farmers, fisherfolk and rural families. QuintaPH resulted in P2.1-billion damages in agriculture. As of today, RollyPH reportedly caused an additional damage of P1.1-billion in agriculture and fisheries. Thousands of hectares of rice and corn paddies and vegetable crops were deluged in flood, coconut and other trees fell, and farm animals drowned.

“The Department of Agriculture’s rehab aid to typhoon-stricken farmers and fisherfolk is not enough. Farmers need much more than 133 bags of rice seeds, 17,000 bags of corn seeds, 2,000 bags of assorted vegetable seeds and 10-million tilapia and bangus fingerlings. Sa ngayon at sa mga susunod na buwan, walang pagkain at kabuhayan ang mga magsasaka. Matatagalan pa ulit bago nila mataniman ang mga palayan at sakahan na natabunan ng lahar at buhangin,” Ramos says.”

KMP is seeking donations and support to aid farmers in need of rice, food, relief packs, hygiene kits, drinking water, clothes, sleeping kits and medicines. For rehabilitation efforts, farmers and fisherfolk will need seeds and seedlings, farm tools, farm animals, bancas and fishing equipment and production subsidies.

For donations, contact Sagip Kanayunan on Facebook.

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