27 November 2013
Clean drinking water is reaching thousands of people affected by the Philippines typhoon thanks to the Red Cross.
Weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated millions of lives, people are still in urgent need of basic support such as water, food and shelter.
Philippines Red Cross staff and engineers from the International Committee of the Red Cross have set up mobile water treatment units. They have also started distributing water in areas affected by the disaster.
So far, they have given 86,500 litres of clean drinking water to about 28,800 people in towns along the southern and eastern coasts of Samar. Distributions are set to continue in badly hit areas including Basey, Marabut and Guiuan.
Red Cross engineers and staff have also started restoring the heavily damaged Guiuan city water system, which is designed to supply about 47,000 people. Restoring all other water networks is a priority for the organisation.
Over 4m people have been forced from their homes by the disaster, and many are defecating in the open – increasing the risk of water pollution and disease.
Disaster response manager Pete Garratt said: "People in the Philippines have been through so much already, but they still need life-saving help. Without clean drinking water, they are at much greater risk from serious illnesses such as cholera.
"It's great that clean water is reaching people in need, but this is a huge disaster and there's still a massive amount of work to do. Please give what you can to the British Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal."
The Red Cross is helping people in other ways, too. The organisation has handed out parcels including rice, canned fish and soap to 36,000 households. It is also helping people find shelter and search for missing loved ones.