November 8 marks the third anniversary of the landfall of Super typhoon Yolanda, destroying and affecting the lives of millions of Filipinos. Let us look back and revisit the efforts of AKO BICOL to respond and cater the needs of the survivors.
AKO BICOL headed clearing operations in Tacloban City, where it brought heavy equipment such as trucks and bulldozers, all used to clear the chaotic streets and major passageways of the city. The team prioritized the removal of the debri and dead bodies from the streets to ensure speedy transportation of relief packs and medical aid to various areas and prevent the spread of disease by decomposing cadavers.
“Clearing the streets left many of us tired and a little traumatized. Not only were we lifting heavy debri but we occasionally encountered dead bodies in the streets. You can feel the smell of death clinging to you.
It was nearly unbearable, but when I looked all around, I didn’t have the heart to complain. I was grateful this devastation didn’t happen to my home. Otherwise, we would have suffered the same fate as these bodies. We lived near the sea, my whole family would have been washed away.”
-Ramir, 29, AKO BICOL Yolanda Volunteer