Super Typhoon Haiyan Philippines Response

Mission in Philippines

October 2014

October 23, 2014

GlobalMedic’s compressed earth block housing project is making great progress in the Philippines. The teams have laid compressed earth blocks 27 high on units 13-15. We are completing 20 units by the end of the year.

Units 7-12 are almost complete. Workers are currently in the process of installing electricity and ceilings in all of the housing units. Front stairs were created and the last phase of the septic tank was finalized and secured for the beneficiaries of these new homes. The foundation for unit 19 commenced; staked and trenches dug out for concrete to be poured for the foundation to be set.

This month brought in a couple new volunteers to the project. Matt Brouwer from Niagara flew in last Friday after dropping off firefighting equipment in Cebu from GlobalFire. Melanie Silver also made the journey to Tacloban from England.

GlobalMedic said goodbye to an amazing volunteer, Brett Simms. He made a huge impact on the community around the housing project, often spending the time after long shifts to stay on site and teach some of the local workers Kali. This is a traditional Filipino fighting style that he has practiced for many years. Trained in photography, Brett took many amazing photos that can be found on the GM British Columbia Facebook page.

October 16, 2014

The Compressed Earth Block Project had another week of mostly good weather which allowed
for lots of progress at the site. All the floors in the second 6 units have been poured and
plumbing for sewage, electrical wiring, and interior and exterior finishing is well under way.
Interior framing for the ceilings inside units 7-10 was started today, and should be completed
early next week.

Spirits around the site remain high and most days end with the crew playing a few games of
basketball and volleyball together before heading home for the night. The GM team is looking
forward the arrival of volunteer Matt Brouwer who will arrive tonight.

CEB laying progressing well for units 13-18. Nearly high enough to start pouring columns for the roof supports.

Mason laying in a Compressed Earth Brick in one of the final 6 units.

A mason creating the detailing on the front of unit 11

October 9, 2014

This week our Compressed Earth Block Project continued smoothly with lots of progress on the 12 units. Foundations were laid, Compressed Earth Brick production started up again, and masons are pouring floors and starting outer detailing on the facades.

The weather was really cooperative with only a few showers to slow down the work. This week saw a change-over in volunteers with Anita Laipniekas and Pat Peterson completing their deployment and Brett Simms arriving for his.

The Block crew and Anita and Pat heading to the housing construction site.

Brett helping the hand-line feeding cement to the masons in unit 8.

Some of the members of the community benefiting from the housing projects.

The front of units 8-11 where you can see the start of the septic tank dig.

Overview of the house construction site earlier in the week. Sunshine made for great progress but very hot working conditions.

October 2, 2014

This week the GlobalMedic team continued with the inside features of units #7-12. The sewage pipes are finished and ready to be connected to the septic tank. Debris from Typhoon Yolanda has been cleared and tree roots have been removed from the front of units #7-12 in preparation for construction. A special thank you goes out to Pat, our GM volunteer from Winnepeg, Manitoba, for her strength and strategic removal of large tree roots. We affectionately refer to her as our Canadian lumber Jack.

This week the GlobalMedic team started laying the cement footings for units #13-18.

September 25, 2014

The building project in Tacloban, Philippines continues as we build 20 homes for families who have lost so much after Typhoon Haiyan.

Project Manager Reidun posing with familiy who lives in unit #4

Volunteer Anita posing with the family of unit #2 in their living room

The next set of 6 block homes, units #7-12, are currently being worked on by skilled masons. This has been a great opportunity for locals to have a steady job as they rebuild their lives.

Building the front door jam in unit #10

Plastering the external wall and cementing the first coat on the back window sill of unit #12.

The GlobalMedic team has broke ground on building the next six CEB housing, units #13-18. The foundation and footings trench have been dug, gravel poured, framing and rebar installed. The remaining 8 units to be built will require approximately 1160 blocks. These blocks are made just down the road at our block making site.

September 18, 2014

The GlobalMedic field team is going strong in the Philippines. On Saturday night even though the rain was coming down hard, everyone headed to the CEB (compressed-earth block) site for some local food to celebrate the completion of 65 wells. We spent the night thanking our five well rehabilitation teams on their hard work and dedication over the last couple of months. The CEB machine created almost 1,500 blocks this week. These blocks are then transferred to our construction site to build the permanent housing for over 60 members of that community affected by Typhoon Haiyan last year.

At the CEB construction site, teams are now in the process of laying down corrugated roofing on six housing units. Installing roofs is essential for further work to be done as the Philippines are entering its rainy season. After the roofs are put up, teams can begin to work on all the amenities inside the units and be protected by the shelter. There is a well located inside one of the housing units. Instead of removing it, the team decided to rehabilitate one more well and provide a closer source of water for these beneficiaries. The well was drained and cleaned several times, plastered and covered. They are connecting piping underground and installing a hand-pump where everyone can have access.

Signs of Tropical storm “Mario” (international name “Fung-wong”) began in the Tacloban area in the early hours of Thursday morning. Most of the international team members volunteering here have never seen this amount of rain before. At least three people have been killed while close to half a million people have been affected. Incessant heavy rains triggered floods all over the Filipino islands on Friday a state disaster response agency said. Thankfully Tacloban escaped the worst of the storm and teams were back to the work sites early Friday morning. Pictured below is view from a hill looking down upon the CEB housing units and new roofing.

September 12, 2014

Here's a video highlighting our housing project

September 11, 2014

Today marked the final well rehabilitation being completed! That makes our goal of 65 wells being rehabilitated finally complete. Congratulations and a big thank you to our well teams who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to help complete the rehabilitations. There is still work to be done as far as water sampling but the hard labour is now finished.

The GM team also got to visit the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) treatment plant. This is the same organization that does all the tests on our water samples from the wells we have been working on. Team members got a tour of the facility as well as given a walkthrough of the process that our water samples go through when we send them away to be tested. Thanks to Linda at LMWD for taking us to the facility and being our personal tour guide for the day.

The housing project is also seeing great progress. The entire framework for the roofing was completed this week. The concrete window frames have also been manufactured and installed on 4 of the 6 units – the windows should be measured early next week and hopefully arrive shortly after. The units are coming together very quickly as the teams are trying to get the roofing up before the rainy season.

September 5, 2014

The final blocks were laid this week for the next six units in our Compressed Earth Block Housing Project. The interiors for the units are now being worked on by our crew. They have almost completed the washrooms for all six units. A number of the window frames have also been put in place. The roofing has been started on the first three units and will continue throughout the upcoming week.

As for our well teams they were also busy, completing some of the larger projects in our well rehabilitation program. We are getting very close to our final wells being completed. Other team members worked diligently to collect a large number of water samples from the completed wells and submitted them to the local water testing agency, Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) for analysis.

August 14

Another productive week has passed for the GlobalMedic team in Tacloban. There is great news from our Compressed Earth Block housing project. The new set of houses are well underway with teams working tirelessly throughout the week to build new homes for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Blocks are being put up at an amazing rate now and the team has settled the foundations for six new units.

This week also saw the distribution of nearly 200 school bags as well as a number of supplies for classrooms at a local elementary school. The students were thrilled.

The GlobalMedic team continued with their well rehabilitation project this week – nearly ten wells were completed by our local teams. The team continued to collect water samples from the wells in order to ensure the drinking water is clean and safe for the community.

August 7

The team traveled by boat, truck and car during this jam-packed week of distributions. 638 hygiene kits and 563 RainFresh units have been successfully distributed throughout a number of communities in the Eastern Visayas region. Schoolbags for all of the elementary and secondary school students in the area were provided as well in the heavily affected coastal community of Tanghas, and a number of wheelchairs and stretchers were donated to Dagami Hospital and a local fire hall.

Throughout the Tacloban area, the well rehabilitation project is still going strong; another 7 wells cleaned out, reinforced and outfitted with hand pumps to improve both the accessibility and quality of water serving these communities.

The site of the next 14 Compressed Earth Block homes has progressed hugely within the last week. Foundation trenches, rebar reinforcements and the pouring of concrete has kicked off the construction process.

July 31

GlobalMedic paid another visit to our field hospital in Balangiga this week. Along with a number of stretchers and walkers, the team donated a laptop to help support the hospital with daily administrative and operational tasks. In addition to the devastation Typhoon Haiyan caused to the physical structure of the hospital, countless patients’ medical records were also destroyed.

The team was also busy sourcing hygiene supplies in Tacloban this week, including basics like soap, toothbrushes and sanitary pads. All the materials were purchased locally and were assembled into kits to serve an entire household for a month.

The team distributed 640 of these hygiene kits this week, targeting coastal communities that were extremely hard hit by the typhoon. The storm’s damage has left many of the roads leading into this area impassable by truck. Due to their inaccessibility, these communities are in even greater need of support. The GlobalMedic team traveled there by boat to distribute much needed supplies. By the end of the week, GlobalMedic will have distributed 3000 hygiene kits in response to the typhoon in the Philippines.

Our local team had a busy week as well, rehabilitating four wells. This will support over 230 households’ access to drinking water. Additional well construction is continually scheduled in the coming weeks.

July 24

The team has been on typhoon watch again as a third storm this month threatened the Philippines. Fortunately, the storm largely missed the Tacloban area.

This week our construction project partner, UMCOR, paid a visit to the Philippines. Their team was able to see the Compressed Earth Block Project in action, and was welcomed by a beneficiary into his newly completed home. UMCOR was also able to see the second phase operations of the CEB Housing Project, which involved the clearing and setting of the site layout in preparation for the upcoming 14 homes. The homes are due to be built within the coming months.

The GlobalMedic team also focused on the rehabilitation of another 4 wells, and explored surrounding communities to identify an additional nine wells in need of repair. The team also revisited a well that was partially rehabilitated in early July at the Central Elementary School. The well is working smoothly and the team has decided to take the next step and repair the drainage system surrounding the site in order to ensure the water is clean and safe to drink.

July 18

The team has been keeping an eye on Typhoon Glenda as it moves through the northern part of the country. Tacloban has only experienced heavy rains as a result of the storm, but it was enough to keep the team indoors on Tuesday. Making up for lost time, three wells throughout the municipality of Palo were successfully rehabilitated this week, and another seven wells were identified for repair.

In the community of Sante Fe, GlobalMedic distributed over 250 RainFresh units to families without access to clean water. The team spent the morning instructing community members on how to use the household water purification units, and helped families physically assemble them before taking them home. These simple filtration systems can provide a household with safe, clean drinking water for an entire year.

The field team also paid a visit to the GlobalMedic tent hospital in Balangiga on Friday. Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the community’s hospital back in November 2013, but the Newfoundland-donated tent aided in the restoration of medical care and it continues to operate smoothly. Additional blankets, stretchers and wheelchairs were delivered during the visit.

July 11

GlobalMedic's team continues to make strong progress in the Philippines. The well rehabilitation project has been ongoing and continues to move forward as new wells are being identified, tested, assessed and rehabilitated daily. Each well is different and requires an individual assessment to ensure that the proper repair work is being done. Some wells require a simple cleaning while others need a great deal more work to ensure the safety and longevity of the well. Many community members are keen to take part in the process of rehabilitating their wells, which allows them to take ownership over the project at a community level.

The team rehabilitating a well

This past week also saw over 200 face-to-face interviews with community members who received hygiene kits or Rainfresh units from GlobalMedic. This process is critical to ensure that the community is using their Rainfresh units properly, and gives valuable feedback on how to improve the hygiene kits that are distributed to a number of communities. The interviews also give GlobalMedic team members the opportunity to interact with different members of the community on a more personal level, helping to build strong relationships between the team and the communities they are operating in.

The final touches are added to the first six housing units

In addition, GlobalMedic’s six Compressed Earth Block Housing Project units are getting the finishing touches as families begin to spend some time there getting to know their new homes. Move-in dates are just around the corner and families are eager and happy to move in. This pilot project has been a success, providing new, safe and secure shelters to families affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

July 3

This week was quite a busy one for GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation in the relief and recovery efforts of Typhoon Haiyan-affected areas in the Philippines. Teams successfully distributed 225 Rainfresh water purification units to beneficiaries of Zone 4 in Santa Fe, all of whom were lacking access to clean drinking water. GlobalMedic continued to deliver the on-the-spot assembly training, providing beneficiaries with extensive knowledge of the assembly and operation of the Rainfresh unit. Our feedback thus far has been extremely positive, with beneficiaries stating that the water has a clean and chemical-free taste, and that the unit is simple and easy to use.

We are also happy to report that over 575 Hygiene kits were distributed in the Tacloban and Santa Fe regions this week. Through assessments and cluster meetings, it was found that access to sanitation and hygiene items continues to be an issue for many of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. We have made it a priority to reach these communities, and continue to provide participatory hygiene and sanitation talks with vulnerable populations during our distributions.

GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation’s determination to have clean drinking water for the communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan not only includes water purification units, but also focuses on well-rehabilitation initiatives. This project is a top priority, as it is a sustainable method for providing a long-term source of safe drinking water for communities. The teams successfully rehabilitated five wells, with eight new operations initiated this week. Each well rehabilitation is different, therefore we are working with local community leaders, council members and hired professional staff who are consulted to ensure the safety and proper usage of each of these rehabilitations.

The GlobalMedic block site crew has been working hard, with an output of over 1,200 blocks created this week. The blocks will be incorporated in to the next 14 additional homes being built over the next few months. This first six housing units have reached completion, allowing for the beneficiaries to settle in to their new homes.

GlobalMedic also had the pleasure of hosting Gord Martineau and Stephen Boorne from CityNews in Toronto, Canada. The GlobalMedic team introduced them to our current projects in Leyte. Gord and Stephen were able to visit the building project and meet the new housing beneficiaries, and were even able to try out the machine and make some blocks. They were also able to view Rainfresh and Hygiene kit distributions, and meet some of the people who received the items.

June 26

It has been another successful week in Leyte with our Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Relief Projects. Over 300 Rainfresh water purification units were distributed to disaster-affected areas in Tacloban, Palo and Santa Fe. GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation volunteers have continued to provide beneficiaries with hands-on installation training demonstrations, while facilitating assembly sessions for Barangay officials and council members. The GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation teams have also initiated an on-the-spot assembly of all units, to ensure that all beneficiaries have their units in proper working order. The interaction between our teams and the local communities during these particular sessions has been extremely positive thus far, with the beneficiaries displaying a great level of eagerness and enthusiasm.

GlobalMedic also pays particular focus to hygiene and sanitation within the disaster-affected communities. This week, 685 hygiene kits with jerry cans, prepared by our GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation team, were distributed to communities in Santa Fe and Tacloban.

GlobalMedic’s determination to have clean drinking water for the communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan not only encompasses water purification units, but also focuses on well-rehabilitation. The project has successfully completed 4 wells this week that will each be examined by a water technician to ensure that the quality is kept with water regulations and standards. By working with local communities, GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation will continue this process and in total rehabilitate a total of 50 wells. Each case is different, and the professionally hired staff will be consulted in ensuring the safety and proper usage of each of these units.

The GlobalMedic compressed earth block team has been working hard, with an output of nearly 2,000 blocks this week. The blocks will be incorporated in to the next 12 houses being built over the following few months. These first 6 housing units are 95% complete and beneficiaries will be moving in shortly.

GlobalMedic and Leger Foundation’s Monitoring and Evaluation Team has made great progress in the number of beneficiaries they have spoken to. They also hosted 5 WASH focus group sessions on Household Level Water treatment, with a WASH Cluster technician. The team reported that there was a great turn-out in all 5 sessions, with an enthusiastic voice towards the Rainfresh water purification units.

June 20

This week has been productive with a total of 400 Rainfresh water purification units being distributed in Typhoon Haiyan-affected areas in Tacloban, Palo and Santa Fe. Last Sunday, two 40 foot containers were unloaded into the Palo warehouse and the GlobalMedic team has been busy distributing Rainfresh units all week. To support large crowds of 400-500 beneficiaries, GlobalMedic is providing multiple installation demonstrations, facilitating training for local Barangay officials, helping elderly persons with assembly and providing pictogram instructions that can be understood by all members of the community. Beneficiaries are always amazed when they find out they can use the water produced by Rainfresh units for them and their babies without boiling or chemicals.

The distribution of hygiene kits is also an on-going priority. Over 576 kits with jerry cans have been distributed in Barangays affected by Haiyan and our local midwife continues to do participatory hygiene and sanitation talks with vulnerable populations.

In the GlobalMedic well rehabilitation project, a number of wells have now been successfully repaired and another one is nearing completion. Each well has varying needs in order to be rehabilitated; however most of the wells GlobalMedic has tackled to date have needed to be cleaned out, stabilized with concrete, covered to prevent contamination, moulded for proper drainage and then made accessible through a hand pump. The assessment team is currently compiling a list of 45 additional wells that will be rehabilitated by GlobalMedic in the next two months. Our selection criteria specifies that all wells for rehabilitation must be public, have water all year round and be the single source of cost-free drinking water in the area.

The GlobalMedic housing construction project has also been expanding in size. The operational area has been expanded and covered with tarps for the rainy season, and a second screening apparatus has been built to increase production. Over 1,000 bricks were produced this week and planning for the 12 additional houses continues under the leadership of the site supervisor and a local engineer.

This week the monitoring and evaluation team attended a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) meeting and is in the process of setting up a Household Water Treatment focus group for the UN. Short-form and key informant interviews are scheduled to begin again next week.

June 11

This week has been an exciting one for GlobalMedic. Six permanent homes were completed and given to families who lost everything in Typhoon Yolanda. Public officials, local villagers and construction workers were on hand to participate in the festivities as the residents received their new homes. Construction of the next five houses are underway and the block site team has ramped up production to 1,000 bricks per day.

250 Rainfresh water purification units were distributed in a drought stricken community in the west. Instead of buying bottled water residents are now able to source clean drinking water from wells in their community. This saves essential time and money by eliminating a need for costly trips into the city. Two shipping containers with an additional 2,000 Rainfresh units were cleared through customs on Wednesday and are on route to Tacloban. The assessment team has identified 7 Barangays with water needs for this shipment of Rainfresh and the next round of distributions will begin on Monday.

Over 1,600 hygiene kits have now been assembled in our warehouse. 105 were distributed today in rural. Feedback on the hygiene and sanitation program is very good, with a particular emphasis on oral hygiene.

In addition to these distributions, GlobalMedic is conducting a monitoring and evaluation project which is transitioning into its third and final stage. 25 long-form surveys, 25 short-term surveys and 10 key informant interviews have been completed. Responses have been overwhelmingly positive, with almost all previous Rainfresh beneficiaries assembling, cleaning and using their units correctly. Cases of diarrhoea have been eliminated, local water sources are being utilized and families are refilling their Rainfresh buckets every day.

June 6, 2014

GlobalMedic’s Community Rehabilitation program is well underway in Tacloban and surrounding areas. GlobalMedic, in partnership with Leger, ADRA Philippines and UMCOR, has distributed 695 Rainfresh units to Yolanda affected families in need of clean drinking water. GlobalMedic is also rehabilitating community wells contaminated during Typhoon Haiyan. The rehab of well 40 wells is now underway and assessments are being done daily to identify villages with wells that are non-operational or unsafe. GlobalMedic plans to distribute 4250 Rainfresh household water purification units.

To ensure families stay healthy, 550 hygiene kits containing locally sourced antibacterial soap, laundry detergent, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail clippers, razors, sanitary pads, a bucket, a dipper, a lid and a jerry can will be distributed to affected regions. Today 60 of these kits were distributed and a local midwife has joined the team to provide a multipronged hygiene program with informational talks about personal hygiene and community sanitation practices. GlobalMedic plans to distribute a total of 3000 hygiene kits.

In Brangay 104, GlobalMedic ‘s Compressed Earth Block (CEB) building project continues with an average of 700 bricks produced by the IMPACT 2001A CEB machine. The major construction of the first six homes of this project is complete, with only a few small details remaining. Preparations for the construction of additional homes are in progress and over 3,500 bricks have already been set aside for this project.

A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) project is also underway. The M&E team is responsible for visiting areas where Rainfresh and hygiene kits have been distributed and ensuring that water and hygiene issues have improved. This team interviews recipients to make sure GlobalMedic training seminars and items were properly received. So far, our teams have been told that since the distribution of Rainfresh units in certain location, cases of chronic diarrhoea in children has disappeared.

Although there is evidence of Haiyan in every building, on every road and in every story you hear, people are starting to rebuild their lives. Children returned to school this week and construction sites are appearing all over town. Affected families have a long road to normalcy, and GlobalMedic is here in the Philippines helping those that are most in need.

May 7, 2014

Here's a new look at our housing project in Tacloban.

April 15, 2014

The permanent homes our shelter team are working on are coming together well at Baranguay 104 in Tacloban. Currently, the walls for three of the units have been completed and roofs are being installed.

The compressed earth block machine has been working very well and our team has trained a number of community members from Baranguay 104 on how to operate it. This involvement is not only important for production of blocks, but it also helps foster a sense of community ownership over the project.

We are very close to completing production on all the blocks needed for the initial 6 homes we are building, but GlobalMedic's commitment to community rehabilitation in the Philippines is far from over. We have just committed to building an additional 5 permanent homes in Baranguay 104!

March 31, 2014

GlobalMedic's rebuilding project is well underway. Our block machine has been running nonstop for the past several weeks. The team has produced close to 10,000 blocks! As mentioned in the video below, these blocks are made out of either a combination of dirt and cement, or just dirt.

To show just how strong these blocks are, the team has put together a little demonstration. A few blocks are set aside for those curious about the project. A team member will pick up a block and drop it from head height. At most, the block will lose a corner when it hits the ground. This shows that the these blocks are much stronger than locally produced cinderblocks, which can be broken by applying hand force.

The 6 housing units are currently under construction. The foundations have been finished, and the blocks are currently being laid in place. Beneficiary families are thrilled with the progress.

February 24, 2014

Today at Barangay 104, GlobalMedic was part of a very important ceremony. The community held a ground breaking event to signify the official start of GlobalMedic's new housing project. Father Bart, the local priest and community leader, blessed the ground where the six housing units will be built. The beneficiaries who will eventually reside in the units were also present. The whole community came out for the event.

And in other big news: GlobalMedic's water team had much to celebrate yesterday. The team has now purified and distributed over 4 million litres of clean drinking water. This has helped keep affected communities safe from water borne diseases since the start of this disaster.

February 16, 2014

We have some great numbers to share with you, as well as a big announcement.

First, the numbers: we have now purified and distributed over 3.7 million litres of clean drinking water. Our trucks and water units are running daily to ensure families continue to get clean drinking water. Second, staff in our field hospital in Balangiga have seen over 2100 patients, and that number at our Dagami field hospital is over 3,200.

While we continue to run our medical and water programs, our teams in the Philippines are beginning to focus on helping families rebuild their lives. To make sure families have autonomy over their clean drinking water, GlobalMedic is continuing to distribute Rainfresh water purification units to households in various affected communities. At a distribution this week, a mother who received a unit summed up the goal of this project perfectly: With this unit, I will now know what my children are drinking. I will know their water is safe.

Now for the big news: GlobalMedic is very excited to announce a new construction project. Through the use of Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs), GlobalMedic will be building housing units for families who lost their homes during Typhoon Haiyan. The first 6 homes will be built in Barangay 104. Close to 350 homes in this area were destroyed, and there is little money in the community to rebuild. A GlobalMedic team will be compressing soil from Barangay 104 to make blocks. The machine we are using is the Impact 2001A. We are very excited to be starting this project. You can see the unit in action in this video:

You can still donate to GlobalMedic's program in the Philippines here.

February 3, 2014

This upcoming weekend marks four months since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. Over these four months, GlobalMedic has been providing clean drinking water daily for affected people. GlobalMedic recently passed a giant milestone: 3 million litters of clean water purified and distributed to people in need. This is in addition to the 5 million water purification tablets and thousands of water purification units GlobalMedic has already distributed.

These numbers are big, and they are about to get bigger. Three sea containers of household water purification units arrived in the Philippines and GlobalMedic will be distributing these units shortly. These sea containers also contain firefighting equipment from Canada that will be donated to under equipped fire departments in affected regions of the Philippines. This program will be run by GlobalMedic's sister charity, GlobalFire.

Although some municipal water systems are beginning to come back online, health centres are a long way from being back to normal. To support this gap, GlobalMedic continues to run field hospitals. Today at the field hospital supporting the damaged Dagami rural health unit, medics and doctors saw 185 patients. The total number of patients seen at this field hospital is approaching 3000. GlobalMedic's massive inflatable field hospital in Balangiga is also seeing patients daily.

Recently, GlobalMedic visited some of the tents donated by the Compassionate Service Society and distributed by GlobalMedic. Families who lost their homes in the typhoon are currently using these tents as transitional shelters. Beneficiaries have told GlobalMedic that they greatly appreciate the cover during this rainy season.

You can still donate to GlobalMedic's program in the Philippines here.

January 28, 2014

Here is an updated video of our work in the field:

You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

January 21, 2014

GlobalMedic's team in the Philippines was thanked in an incredibly touching way this week. While driving to a distribution point near Bannawag, the team passed this sign:

The sign reads:

Thank you so much to GlobalMedic for giving us safe drinking water!! God bless to all!! From the people of Bannawag.

GlobalMedic has been providing water to the people of this area for over two months now, and this sign of gratitude left the team in high spirits.

Last week, there was another great moment for the team. The hard work GlobalMedic is doing is being noticed not only by people who have been receiving clean drinking water. Neil Reeder, Canada's Ambassador to the Philippines stopped by a Rainfresh distribution to say hello. Ambassador Reeder congratulated the team on the work they are doing. The Ambassador also helped with the distribution. These Rainfresh units are being given to families who do not have access to clean drinking water at home. GlobalMedic is in the process of distributing several thousand units. Ambassador Reeder can be seen on the right in the Photo below.

An important project is underway at the Dagami Rural Health Unit (RHU). The RHU was badly damaged during the Typhoon. In November, GlobalMedic set up a super shelter so patients could still be treated at this location. Now, GlobalMedic and Doctors Worldwide Turkey is rebuilding the damaged RHU building. GlobalMedic and local crews are hard at work fixing the walls, roof and interior so the RHU can function once again. This photo shows teams working on the roof:

With all of these interesting projects and events, the team is still providing clean drinking water daily. GlobalMedic is purifying and then distributing an average of 55,000L of clean drinking water daily. As of January 20th, GlobalMedic has distributed over 2.4 million litres of clean drinking water through the use of small and medium sized water purification units. The team has also distributed over 5 million water purification tablets (20L, 10L and 1L tablets).

January 10, 2014

This week marks two months since Typhoon Haiyan stuck the Philippines. In this time, GlobalMedic has led a comprehensive response.

GlobalMedic teams have purified and distributed 2 million litres of clean drinking water. Water teams use GlobalMedic’s water purification units to treat contaminated water and purify it to international standards. This potable water is then distributed to those most affected by Typhoon Haiyan through tankering and point-of-distribution programs. GlobalMedic has also distributed over 5 million water purification tablets to families to use at a household level.

Additionally, teams are distributing 3,000 household water purification units to families who do not have access to clean drinking water at home.

GlobalMedic is providing Shelter solution for those who lost their homes during the typhoon. To date, GlobalMedic has distributed over 350 transitional shelters to families who were previously living in evacuation centers. These families have also received household water purification units from GlobalMedic.

Several key hospitals and Heath centres were damaged during the typhoon. In response, GlobalMedic has provided several super shelters to support damaged medical infrastructure. GlobalMedic volunteers treat hundreds of patients daily in these field hospitals. In Dagami, near Tacloban, GlobalMedic is currently rebuilding the local hospital. This will reestablish the region’s shattered medical system. While this construction is taking place, GlobalMedic has set up a massive Newfoundland-made field hospital. This 2576 sq ft unit is seeing hundreds of patients daily, providing medical relief to the typhoon affected community. GlobalMedic has also delivered over $100,000 of essential medicines to damaged regions.

GlobalMedic's teams continue to work daily providing people with much needed relief. Today, the water teams distributed over 54,000L of clean drinking water.

This work needs to continue, but it can't without your help. To ensure families who need water, medical, and shelter support receive it, please donate here.

January 2, 2014

As the new year begins, GlobalMedic's work in the Philippines continues. Over the next few months, additional teams will roll in to support the work that has been on going since early November. These teams will be distributing clean water, supplying families with shelter and household water solutions, treating patients in GlobalMedic field hospitals and rebuilding communities and livelihoods.

Volunteers currently in the Philippines have had a great start to 2014. The water teams distributed close to 60,000 litres of clean drinking water today. Another team built 258 Rainfresh water units that will be distributed in the coming days to families in need of household water solutions.

GlobalMedic's field hospitals continue to add support to damaged medical infrastructure. These hospitals will remain active until local hospitals are back online.

GlobalMedic team members distribute Rainfresh household water purification units.

December 30, 2013

Over the past few days, GlobalMedic has been busy distributing tents and household water units. To assist people transition from living in community centres and moving back to family dwelling, GlobalMedic has distributed 345 tents to families. These will help families regain a sense of independence over their living situation. In addition. GlobalMedic has distributed 646 RainFresh household water purification units. These will help beneficiaries have control of their drinking water. As opposed to using contaminated drinking sources, or having to leave their homes to get clean drinking water, beneficiaries will now be able to purify water at a household level.

Additionally, GlobalMedic's water teams have distributed over 100,000 litres of clean drinking water in the past 48 hours. Medical teams also continue to treat patients in GlobalMedic's field hospitals.

You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

December 27, 2013

GlobalMedic teams are ploughing full steam ahead on all fronts. Today, the water teams distributed a massive amount of clean drinking water: 54,048 L. On top of that, they distributed enough water purification tablets to purify over 15,000 L of dirty water, rendering it safe to drink.

The shelter team also distributed several tents to families today. The team gave tents to 274 families who have been without homes since the typhoon struck in early November. Additionally, the team also distributed 336 RainFresh water purification units. This means clean drinking water for 336 families of seven people for one year.

December 24, 2013

Despite the numerous hardships faced by typhoon affected people in the Philippines, families are still celebrating Christmas. GlobalMedic was right in the middle of one such celebration earlier today. A water and shelter team transported 30 tents and 30 household water purification units to the City of Palo. These tents and units were distributed at child care centres. The City of Palo turned the distribution into a Christmas celebration, complete with banners and balloons. GlobalMedic's teams were thrilled to be part of today's activities.

Additional water teams distributed clean drinking water in several areas today. Close to 40,000 litres of clean drinking water were distributed to 14 communities.

December 23, 2013

This weekend, GlobalMedic's team went the extra mile in a small village to ensure people have access to clean drinking water. The team installed an AP700 water unit in the community of Tin-Ao. This unit can purify up to 1000 litres of clean drinking water an hour for the families of the community. The team learned that five families lived just outside of the community, too far to walk to the AP700 for daily drinking water. To remedy this, the team delivered 10L water purification tablets to these five families so they would have access to clean drinking water, without having to undertake the long trek daily.

GlobalMedic is also distributing household water purification units. Teams gave 220 families units over the weekend. This means over 1500 individuals will have access to clean drinking water at a household level. Thousands of units will be distributed in the coming weeks.

The medical team has also been busy. A massive Dynamic Air Shelter field hospital shipped from Newfoundland is now up and running. The hospital has a floor space of 2576 sq. ft. (46'x56'x18'). Doctors, nurses and specialized medics are operating in this field hospital offering free medical care to people who require treatment.

December 22, 2013

Here are some photos of GlobalMedic's recent activities:

GlobalMedic's teams are distributing hundreds of shelters to people who lost their homes.

Balangiga is now home to this massive GlobalMedic field hospital.

GlobalMedic has installed several AP700 water units for communities which do not have access to clean water. These units can purify 1000 litres of water a minute.

December 20, 2013

This week marks a milestone for GlobalMedic's mission in the Philippines: the water purification teams have now purified and distributed over 1 million litters of clean drinking water. This water has been life saving for beneficiaries. In addition, GlobalMedic has distributed close to 3.5 million water purification tablets. These tablets come in sizes of 1 litre, 10 litre and 20 litre. In total, these tablets will purify a total of 60.8 million litres of water.

Several AP700 water units have been added to GlobalMedic's water program . These units are installed at a local level, giving entire communities access to clean drinking water. The units that GlobalMedic has installed so far are purifying a total of 7,000 litres an hour.

The medical team has now treated over 2011 patients in GlobalMedic's field hospitals.

In the coming days, thousands of household water purification units will be distributed to families in need of clean drinking water sources. Each unit provides a family of seven with clean drinking water for one year.

December 16, 2013

Here is GlobalMedic's most recent video from the field:

Over the past several days, GlobalMedic teams in Toronto and Montreal worked hard to ensure families in the Philippines have access to clean drinking water.

On Thursday, December 12, GlobalMedic ran a bucket drilling day in Toronto. These buckets form the containers for Rainfresh household water purification units. Volunteers assembled and shipped 1000 of these purification units. They were packed into a 40' sea container. A second sea container was packed with a large field shelter, 360 additional water units and several pallets of fire fighting equipment. The fire fighting equipment will be donated to under equipped fire departments in the Philippines. Both of these containers are now en route to Tacloban, one of the hardest hit areas in the Philippines.

GlobalMedic volunteers along with volunteers from the Léger Foundation (one of GlobalMedic's partner charities), ran a similar bucket drilling day in Montreal. On Saturday, December 14, with the temperature hovering around -25, volunteers created and packed 1000 house hold water purification units into third 40' sea container. These units, along with the ones from the Toronto date, will be distributed to families in the Philippines who do not have access to clean water at a household level.

The teams in the Philippines have also been busy. Over the last two days, they purified and distributed over 60,000 litres of clean drinking water. A specialized GlobalMedic engineer arrived today to begin work on the installation of community water units. These units purify contaminated water sources at a rate of 1000 litres an hour. They will be installed at public meeting points, like markets, to ensure entire communities can benefit from these units.

You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

December 10, 2013

You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

Our team was given a strong reminder today of just how desperate the situation is for so many people in the Philippines. GlobalMedic's Tacloban Team Leader was speaking with the head physician at a hospital on Samar Island that had been badly damage by the Typhoon. The Physician was asked what they need at the hospital. His answer: anything will help. This is why GlobalMedic continues to bring aid almost daily into the Philippines. Over the next few days, GlobalMedic will be sending thousands of household water purification units into the country. This will compliment the clean drinking water program currently under way.

Over the past two days, GlobalMedic has purified and distributed over 100,000 litres of clean drinking water and distributed around 27,000 water purification tablets (1L and 20L tablets).

To help fill the treatment gap left by damaged hospitals, like the one mentioned above, GlobalMedic is seeing hundreds of patients daily in field hospitals. Today and yesterday, GlobalMedic teams treated over 300 patients.

December 9, 2013

You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

This week, GlobalMedic is preparing to send more teams into the field. The team that has been in since day 1, is arriving back home today for some much deserved rest. Over the next several months, teams will be rotating in to the country, providing support to those in need.

The Tacloban team currently on the ground has been busy distributing clean drinking water. Sunday, usually a day of rest, was anything but for the team; yesterday they purified and distributed 25,474L of clean drinking water. They also provided families with 7000 1L and 10L water purification tablets.

Later this week, Ontario and Quebec will see some of GlobalMedic's domestic teams pushing hard to get aid out the door. GlobalMedic will be running bucket drilling days in Toronto and Montreal. These buckets make up household water purification units that will be sent to the Philippines where they will be distributed to 2360 families who do not have access to clean drinking water.

December 7, 2013

More aid is en route to the Philippines today. Philippine Airlines is airfreighting several pallets of supplies for free. Today, GlobalMedic sent 5 skids filed with two tonnes of medicines and water units. These household water purification units will help families who do not have access to clean drinking water. The medicines will be used in one of GlobalMedic's field hospitals.

GlobalMedic's team in the Philippines had another successful day distributing clean drinking water. The RRT distributed water in several communities, including extremely affected areas. Overall, the teams purified and distributed 30,620 litres of clean drinking water. They also distributed 765 1L water purification tablets and 6,589 20L tablets.

Over the coming days, GlobalMedic will running much needed shelter programs. A shipment of 348 tents from CSS Charity arrived in the Philippines. These tents will be used by families until their homes can be rebuilt. Additionally, GlobalMedic is in the process of installing a massive 46'x56' inflatable field hospital.

December 4, 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The Government of Canada has announced they have extended the donation matching program until December 23. You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

More aid is on the way from Canada. At 0500 a cargo freighter was loaded with six tonnes of cargo, bound for the Philippines. This shipment contains household water purification units as well as several pallets of essential medicines that will be used in GlobalMedic's field hospitals. These household water purification units will be distributed to families who do not have access to clean drinking water. The largest item to go is a massive field hospital. The Dynamic Air Shelter has a floor space of 2576' (46'x56'x18').

The field hospitals GlobalMedic is currently operating are busy: over the last 2 days, the team in Tacloban has treated 250 patients.

To ensure that people stay healthy and do not end up in a field hospital, the Rapid Response Team had another busy day disturbing clean water. Today, the team distributed 31,800 litres of clean drinking water to various regions in Tacloban.

The team also distributed 18,925 20L and 1000 1L water purification tablets.

December 2, 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The Government of Canada has announced they have extended the donation matching program until December 23. You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.


Yesterday, GlobalMedic team members working in the Dagami Hospital near Tacloban assisted in the delivery of a baby. Perhaps the only person more thrilled than the team, was the new mother.

Today, the Tacloban team:

-Used the AR10 to purify and distributed 12,000L of clean drinking water and 1480 20L Aquatabs.
-Worked with the local municipality, filling the municipal hall water bladder with 2000L of clean water.
-Ran the Explorer water purification unit and distributed 6000L of clean water in Binolo, Pasil, Malaquicay, Maribi and Cogon.
-Ran a 4000L Tanker Truck and distributed 7000L of water in districts 99, 100 and 102.
-Ran an additional 16000L Tanker Truck and distributed 460 20L Aquatabs and 800 1L Aquatabs.
-Delivered 98,000 20L Aquatabs to a local hospital for mobile medical teams to use. These mobile teams are seeing over 1000 patients daily.
-RRT medics treated 261 patients today in the Dagami field hospital


-Installed a large field hospital at the Sara District Hospital, which will greatly increase the capacity of the damaged and overwhelmed medical centre.
-The team is also supplying the hospital with water containers so out patients can bring clean drinking water home with them. This will keep the patients healthily, and eliminate another trip to the hospital.

And finally, more support is on the way to the Philippines. The Compassionate Service Society ( is shipping 348 tents to GlobalMedic’s team in the Philippines. These tents will be used to aid families who have lost their homes as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, providing them with temporary shelters.

November 29, 2013

Here is the second video from our team in the field.

November 28, 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The Government of Canada has announced they have extended the donation matching program until December 23. You can donate to GlobalMedic's Typhoon Relief efforts here.

Today's update:


The Iloilo team spent the day at Sara District Hospital, continued water purification and ran a mobile field clinic. This team purified 1500 litres of water for the patients and staff of the hospital. The hospital announced today that they will purify water for the community starting tomorrow morning. GlobalMedic’s team will return to assist with this program. In the coming days, the Iloilo team will be installing an Alaska unit to support the Sara Hospital. Today, the team mapped out a footprint for the Alaskan shelter and marked where a bulldozer will level the ground.


The Cebu team ordered buckets to complete Rainfresh household water purification units for distribution. These units will be distributed in Tacloban. The team also assisted Doctors World Wide Turkey in sourcing needed medications. These medications will be used to treat patients affected by the typhoon.

To help the water distribution operation in Tanuan, the Cebu team arranged the purchase of a 1000L water tank. This will increase the distribution capacity of GlobalMedic’s Tanuan team.


The Tacloban team increased capacity today by acquiring two new GlobalMedic RRT members. The team split into subgroups today to complete multiple tasks in different regions. Team 1 ran the Explorer water purification unit in Baranguays throughout Tanuan. They distributed 5000L in San Isidro and Adaka. Team 2 ran the AR 10 and boom truck with a 5000L bladder. They distributed 13,500L in various regions of Palo Leyte. Team 3 also had a productive day. They ran a 16,000L tanker, distributing 12,000L through different communities in Tacloban. Team 4 assisted with local medical teams in La Paz.

Team 5 conducted a survey of a potential field hospital site on Dagami with a population of 32,000 people and a damaged Rural Health unit. After speaking with all parties (Mayor, Head Nurse, Mayor Secretary etc) the team decided to set up a field hospital there. The team began instillation today, and will finish tomorrow.

November 27, 2013

Over the past few days, our teams in Cebu, Iloilo and Tacloban have been treating patients, running water units, distributing clean drinking water, repairing communities and other activities that are helping improve life for millions of people in the Philippines.

In Tacloban, our team purified over 34,000 litres of clean drinking water today. This brings their mission total to over 350,000L. The team is also filling several large bladder tanks and running water tankers. This ensures that there will be multiple distribution points where families can get clean water.

Today the Iloilo team worked at the Sara District Hospital and in Ajuy. The team began purifying water for the patients and staff. To avoid congestion at the hospital, the team purchased water jugs to bring clean drinking water to different parts of the building. The Sara District Hospital serves multiple communities of about 500,000 people.

Additionally, members of the Iloilo team went into two rural area communities in Ajuy and assisted with medical clinics. GlobalMedic saw 165 patients today.

The Cebu team was kept busy today sourcing parts for water units. This is easier said than done in a country where resources are in very short supply. Despite this, the team was able to purchase generators, water pumps, clamps and hoses.

In the coming days, GlobalMedic will be ramping up their presence in the Philippines. Additional Rapid Response Team members are heading into the field to support the work currently be under taken by the Iloilo, Tacloban and Cebu teams.

November 22, 2013

Today marks two weeks since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. These two weeks have been nothing short of horrific for the 13 million affected people. Everything has become scarce: food, clean water, shelter, power, communications, medical support and body bags.

(Photo credit: Jimmy Vigneux)

Today also marks two weeks that GlobalMedic has been responding to the Typhoon, trying to fill the gap in essential shortages. GlobalMedic's RRT consists of about two dozen team members. In recent days, the three teams that make up GlobalMedic's response (Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban) have increased their output in the field.

The Iloilo, the team has been distributing Aquatabs to clinics and other centres that are treating people who have become sick from consuming contaminated water. The team is also installing Trekker water purification units. These can purify up to 4L of clean drinking water a minute. In one day, this team treated 127 patients who were injured during the typhoon. The Iloilo team has begin QIPs (you can read more about QIPs below). The team will be rebuilding a community on an island near Ajuy. This community of 600 people saw almost all of their homes destroyed. GlobalMedic will be rebuilding homes and helping the community get back on its feet.

(Photo credit: Jimmy Vigneux)

In Cebu, our team has a Nomad water purification unit up and running. The Nomad can purify about 100L of clean drinking water a minute. Additionally, this team is organizing all of the incoming logistics for GlobalMedic. Transportation is difficult in the Philippines right now, but our Cebu team is doing a fantastic job of making sure all the aid shipped in from Canada is arriving in the locations it needs to be.

In the heart of the disaster, our Tacloban team is running water purification units in several locations. People in need of water are able to come directly to these units and take clean drinking water with them. To help those who live further away from these distribution points, the team is running a tankering program to make sure GlobalMedic reaches as many people as possible. The team is also filling bladders with clean drinking water at several locations.

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October 2014

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