Mayor Edward C. Codilla gives a shelter handover certificate to a housing beneficiary of IOM. Others in the photo are (from left) Helen Colon-Omana, camp management coordinator of IOM; Cristine Marfil, head of IOM’s Ormoc sub-office; Tessa Briones, director of DSWD’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operation Office; and Manuel M. Pereira, deputy shelter program manager of IOM.

Ormoc News – IOM turns over 85 houses to beneficiaries

ORMOC NEWS – International Organization for Migration (IOM) turned over last March 17 to beneficiaries 85 transitional houses as part of its humanitarian response for typhoon Yolanda-affected areas. The activity was held in the mountain barangay of Donghol, the biggest site of the project where 52 homes are built. The other sites are in Concepcion (18 houses) and Can-untog (15).

The project was funded by the Norweigian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Each house costs P80,000 to build but IOM was able to spend less thanks to the 60,000 bd.ft. coco lumber contributed by United Nations Development Program.

Beneficiaries can occupy the homes for 10 years. An extension will depend on the agreement to be entered thereafter with the landowners. Iñigo Larrazabal, representative of IAL Enterprises which owns the 5,600m2 site in Donghol, said they plan to allow the use of up to two hectares of their land to accommodate more beneficiaries.

The current 52 families are former tent dwellers helped by tent manufacturer Barebones. Now that they live in houses, Larrazabal turned over 40 tents to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and 10 to Lake Danao National Park. He said that each tent sells for $2,000 on eBay.

Each house measures 50m2. Two families share one toilet and bathroom that are placed between two houses. While made of light materials, the structures are designed to last over 10 years. The houses are built firmly to the ground on strong foundation utilizing reinforced concrete.

The structures are raised at least 60 cms. to protect the dwellers from ground moisture and bouncing rainwater. The walls are made of a local material called amakan (bamboo matting) which is inexpensive but improves thermal comfort inside the house by allowing natural ventilation.

During the occasion IOM also gave away to chosen beneficiaries 56 first aid kits, 19 solar lamps, 37 solar radios, 85 pairs of rubber shoes and slippers, and five family kits containing a cooking pot, plates, utensils sleeping mat and blanket. It also gave a volleyball set (ball and net) to the community. For the kids, IOM distributed 350 pens and coloring books and 200 toothbrushes.