Philippines are among those countries most affected by natural disasters so that particular attention in devoted to the construction and reconstruction of buildings, in order to make them resilient when typhoons or earthquakes occur. In the Philippines using light materials such as wood, bamboo and straw is very common but it increases structures’ vulnerability.
In order to face this issue, Kito Onlus organized a Typhoon-prone Construction Training in the Barangay Esperanza (a barangay is the smallest unit of local government in the Philippines) of San Francisco in the Camotes Islands, consisting in 2 afternoon-sessions last March. This training was meant to be not only an informational meeting, but also a theoretical and practical course useful for those working in the field of building construction, and those willing to build or re-build their home making it safer and more resilient to those events such as typhoons. Paola Vecchiato, President of Kito Onlus, Marcelo Roslinda, Yes Construction’s engineer, and Gary Muana, Operations and Warning Officer of the Disaster and Risk Reduction Office in San Francisco participated as speakers.
In order to properly involve the community of Esperanza in the project, 2 representatives of every Purok (district) in the Barangay were asked to take part in the training sessions; in this way, the rest of the community could have been easily informed by them about the content of the course. Nevertheless, all the participants (21 farmers and fishermen and 5 skilled workers) have been invited to share their knowledge with family and friends, once the training was over.
The typhoon-prone construction training showed a high degree of participation, thanks also to the group-works there organized. It was noted that sometimes participants need to be encouraged to expose their doubts and to ask questions and it is important for the speakers to keep in mind that the audience may be unfamiliar with certain topics, so that nothing should be given for granted. During the last part of the training participants filled in a questionnaire in order to test their understanding of the topics and finally everyone received nails, hammers and a certificate of participation.
Kito Onlus is very satisfied with the outcome of the training and hopes to keep playing a significant role in making the communities of the Philippines in which it works less and less vulnerable.
Paola Vecchiato, President of Kito Onlus, and Marcelo Roslinda, Yes Construction’s engineer, explain how to build resilient structures.