Report contribution from ICM Communications Team Val Jovani Canda, Lily Grace Talaban & Meng Valientes
After the catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October, Bohol is beginning to get back on its feet. To assist the recovery, ICM is on a special mission to eliminating darkness for the poor.
Around the island, school classes are seen to have resumed in temporary classrooms made of tent materials because the reconstructions have yet to commence. Certain bridges are repaired to connect towns to major urban centres, so residents would not have to travel by boats to other sides of towns. Although there may be traces of damages, some small businesses are reopened for business.
(Before and after the reconstruction of Tagbuane Bridge)
However, the shortage of electricity is still hindering the full recovery of the province. With Leyte province being the usual source of electricity and got severely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Bohol is relying on nearby Cebu province for a share of power. Without a stable supply of power or the ability to get a temporary generator, Bohol residents are still experiencing weekly periodic blackouts and uncertain supply of water through taps and communal faucets.
The situation is particularly worse among the poorest of the poor. Since there is also no clear indication of when the power connections will be fully restored, during blackout days, people will either use kerosene lamps or candles, or just stay in the dark if they cannot afford it.
In sight of this, ICM has arranged the distribution of solar lights to 370 partner pastors and over 1000 families in their communities in December 2013 and January 2014. With these lights, the earthquake survivors will be able to make a further step in recovery.
In receiving this gift, an ICM partner pastor Dennis Abriol said “I am glad and very happy for this gift. It is really a big blessing for us especially this Christmas because we know for sure now we have a light even blackout may come.”
On behalf of the recipients, thanks to the many kind donors who have contributed in providing lights for the needy over the Christmas season! And may the new year be bright for everyone, shining hope to all, Bohol and beyond!