A man stands atop debris as residents salvage belongings from the ruins of their houses after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines. Photo: ERIK DE CASTRO / REUTERS

WASHINGTON, DC, 29 March 2014 (Inquirer.net) – Tens of thousands of Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan could lose their homes and livelihoods, unless a controversial government policy is changed immediately, according to a recent report by international refugee assistance group.

In its latest report, Philippines: Typhoon Survivors Face Obstacles to Recovery, Refugees International (RI) urges the Philippine government to ensure that the rights of people in so-called “no build zones” are respected, and that any relocations take place in a legal and humane fashion.

“Many Filipinos who live near the ocean lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan, and many want to be relocated,” said RI Climate Displacement Program Manager Alice Thomas.

“But the government’s current approach is unrealistic and possibly illegal. There is nowhere near enough available land for the 60,000 families who previously lived in these areas. So if this policy goes forward, it could lead to forced displacement, making recovery for thousands of affected people far more difficult,” Thomas explained.

In response to the devastation caused by Haiyan, the Philippine government declared that no homes could be built within 40 meters of the high-water mark in typhoon-affected coastal areas.

Manila’s stated intent was to prevent deaths during future storms – which may become more frequent and severe due to climate change.

Yet the decision in its current form has little legal or scientific basis and may be impossible to implement, RI stated.

This week, the Philippine government announced that it may revisit its no build zone policy, but gave no further details. RI calls on donor countries and the United Nations to work with Philippine authorities to find a suitable alternative.

“As climate change continues and coastal nations across the world are threatened, millions of people may face the prospect of relocation,” Thomas said.

“Yet governments and humanitarians have no good strategies for deciding where, when, and how relocation should be carried out,” Ms. Thomas added.

“That is why observers are watching the Philippines closely, and why the government must find a way to protect people from disasters while protecting their rights.”

No-build zones could lead to massive displacement of ‘Haiyan’ refugees, says report

2 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    This is yet another article by a foreigner who knows Not the culture of which she speaks. People,Guvs, Corporations,countries,relief orgs(committees)... need to Stop telling other lands/people what to do. All govs are complicit in crime/s the Pi being no exception. The squatter sits' is a spawned 'PTB' vicious circle. Squatters comprise about half of the pop., have no sanitation & content to exist that way unfortunately. Tacloban & adjacent coastal areas where squatters squat are FLAT-sea level lands. It is courting death for anyone to live there. The measley 40 M restriction really means nothing to another super typhoon. This has been, is and will be a huge prob BUT Do not source info from 'foreign talking heads' who come from 1st world aircon offices and big wallets & love to spout their 'save-the-world jargon.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    I posted this yest but it still isn't showing up...also take note of horrible flooding disaster/typhoon/cyclone and now 6 Mg quake in Guadacanal...those folks are living right along flat coasts and rivers... This is yet another article by a foreigner who knows Not the culture of which she speaks. People,Guvs, Corporations,countries,relief orgs(committees)... need to Stop telling other lands/people what to do. All govs are complicit in crime/s the Pi being no exception. The squatter sits' is a spawned 'PTB' vicious circle. Squatters comprise about half of the pop., have no sanitation & content to exist that way unfortunately. Tacloban & adjacent coastal areas where squatters squat are FLAT-sea level lands. It is courting death for anyone to live there. The measley 40 M restriction really means nothing to another super typhoon. This has been, is and will be a huge prob BUT Do not source info from 'foreign talking heads' who come from 1st world aircon offices and big wallets & love to spout their 'save-the-world jargon.  

 

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