AN EAST Lancashire aid worker has said that ‘large’ amounts of donations must be made to prevent further crises in the Philippines.
Charity deployment manager and Colne resident Ed Cox said that only 25 per cent of needed aid had so far been provided across the islands which were struck by Typhoon Haiyan on November 8.
The 37-year-old Disaster Aid UK employee said that water purifiers were amongst the most vital items needed to prevent water borne diseases, which had already begun to infect infants.
A former Accrington and Rossendale College student and Christ Church Primary School, Colne, pupil, Ed has been visiting isolated communities on islands such as Panay and Leyte to assess the needs of communities which large aid agencies have not yet reached.
Ed, who is currently based in Cebu, was caught up in the ferocious storm whilst helping victims of the October 15 earthquake on Bohol island.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 3,976 people have been confirmed dead whilst 1,602 are missing and 18,175 injured.
He said: “We have been in Panay to give out essentials which now include kits to help people rebuild their homes.
“While aid is slowly filtering through to large cities such as Tacloban more rural communities are still in immense need of essentials.
“Power is still down in many areas and sadly due to this most dialysis patients in hospitals have died.
“I am worried that without adequate supplies water borne diseases will soon start affecting the elderly and other vulnerable people so it’s incredibly important that people do not get donor fatigue in the run up to Christmas.”
Due to the scale of the disaster, Ed said that he expects to spend Christmas in the country with partner organisation Balay Mindanaw.
However he said that order was being restored as widely reported incidents of violence against women and lootings decreased.
Ed said: “Media reports were widely exaggerated but incidents that did occur have declined substantially.
“In many instances people who had no access to aid were just taking food to keep them from dying.
“We have been giving out solar lighting which has helped prevent attacks on other people.
“Yet from what my team has seen, the reactions of Filipinos to this emergency have been both inspiring and humbling.”
Anyone wanting to donate to DAUK should go to disasteraiduk.org or call 0161 3369528.