Chelsea, a member of cbm’s Emergency Response team, was one of the first to arrive in the devastated areas. Her first report from the field is one of many examples of how people with disabilities have been affected by typhoon Haiyan.
Manith is twentyone years old and lives with her family in a small town called Barotek Viejo on the coast of Iloilo province in the Philippines. She is the eldest of five children. In comparison to her sisters and brothers she is unable to walk due to cerebral palsy nor flee to the safety of an evacuation centre. Manith and many other people with disabilities are most at risk during disasters like typhoon Haiyan.
It was her father Manuelito who saved her. “I carried Manith on my shoulder to safety in the midst of the super storm”, he said, “I was so afraid for her. She was very heavy and the water was rising fast.”
Accessing emergency services is difficult for people like Manith. She does not have a wheelchair and relies on her family to get to safety.
Manith and her family survived. When they were about to return to their home after staying two days at the evacuation centre, all they could find was a mound of rubble which was once their home. Manuelto struggled with his tears when he saw what damage typhoon Haiyan caused. Now they are living at their neighbor’s house which is cramped as two other families are also living there.
Manuelto is uncertain about his families’ future. He only runs a market stall selling peanuts and biscuits, while his wife is a domestic worker overseas in Kuwait.