By: One Million Lights Philippines Staff August 2014
Following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in recorded history, a multitude of local and international bodies, including One Million Lights Philippines (OML PH), responded to the call of disaster relief.
Thanks to the outpouring of support from the organization’s many partners, ranging from individuals, to schools, to foundations, to private companies, One Million Lights Philippines has dispatched over 3000 different solar lights in many of the affected areas in the Visayas in the first days following the disaster, to the present.
Typhoon Haiyan was a category 5 typhoon that caused severe, widespread damage to the the Visayas, most notably, the city of Tacloban in Leyte, and intensified the damage in Cebu and Bohol dealt by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake 2 weeks prior. OML PH sought to bring light to areas affected by typhoon, restoring light to areas where power was lost, and providing it in areas that were unlit to begin with.
The typhoon crippled many of the agricultural industries in the affected areas, leaving a great number of the survivors without livelihoods. Beneficiaries in Samar have taken to creating handicrafts from shells, and with the help of the solar light, are able to work past daylight hours. Beneficiaries have also been using the light as a tool against pests in cultivating small vegetable farms to take advantage of vegetables’ relatively quick harvest as well as meet their nutritional needs.
To ensure maximum impact, the organization distributed different types of lights based on the different requirements of beneficiaries. Powerful and heavy duty Great White Lights were given to communities that could support sustainable models that ensure the care and replacement of lights over the years. In addition they were given to those directly involved with community rebuilding efforts such as social workers, teachers, and our local partners. Big home systems were given to community structures such as health clinics, schools, and community centers, to provide lighting for their different operations. Nokero N200 lights were given to communities that required a large number of lights for normal everyday use, as they were the simplest to operate and the most cost effective, allowing the organization to reach more beneficiaries.
In total, OML PH, together with their partners distributed 3,169 lights across communities in Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Palawan, and Capiz. We would like to thank again all those who have contributed to these initiatives through donations, time, and expertise. Their assistance has been pivotal in addressing the needs of those in typhoon hit communities. At present, much still remains to be done in the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan.