Bohol strives for post-‘Odette’ self-sufficiency, resiliency

With the lessons learned from the Typhoon Odette experience, Bohol province will strive to be more resilient and self-sufficient in times of man-made or natural calamity in the future, Governor Arthur Yap said Wednesday.

As the resources are being used to clean up and for the reconstruction effort in the entire province, Yap said the capitol will also embark on a program that will prepare all 47 municipalities and its capital, Tagbilaran City, in case another calamity hits the island.

“Let’s find whatever we can use in the future, as we study what we can do as a province, (after) “Odette”. We cannot just rely always on others. We have to build our own capability and resiliency,” he said, as he attended a water purifying demonstration by a team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Loboc town, one of the most badly hit areas by the typhoon.

Personnel from the MMDA are in Bohol to help in the clearing operations. They also brought a handy, solar-powered water purifier that can be used in areas struck by the typhoon where damaged power lines forced water refilling stations to shut down.

As the local government units (LGU) witnessed how the localities tackle the effects of Typhoon Odette, Yap said the experiences and challenges in the aftermath of the calamity can be used to study what systems they could adopt in future responses against any forms of disaster.

“The Philippines (will have an) average of 22 to 25 tropical cyclones every year. We are one of the most climate change-affected countries in the world. Mangandam ta kanunay (Let’s always be ready) because we are (always) at risk,” Yap said.

He said that billions of pesos of investments and economic gains would be lost every time a typhoon hits a particular area in the country.

Yap noted that if Bohol is prepared to be independent and to operate during a disaster even in isolated circumstances, the impact would become manageable.

“Moving forward, we need to live by it and to learn through research how to prepare for the next big one while we are now cleaning up and recovering Bohol,” he added.

The Bohol provincial capitol reported that as of Wednesday, the total number of deaths due to “Odette” has risen to 111, with five still missing, and 2,040 injured.

The number of evacuated families remains at 26,117, comprising 61,010 individuals from 48 localities in the province.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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