Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Palau To Spend $5 Million On Typhoon Rebuilding
Homes, public buildings to be repaired over next 6 months

By Dance Aoki

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 5, 2013) – Palau Vice President Kerai Mariur confirmed Wednesday that the government will spend an estimated $5 million to rebuild homes and public buildings damaged by Typhoon Bopha.

Mariur expects the repairs to be completed in the next six months.

President Johnson Toribiong said much progress has been made. Vegetation has been cleared from roadways, temporary housing has been arranged and power is restored.

Santy Asanuma, chairman of the Palau Red Cross Society, said fears of illness due to sanitation issues were relieved when the community came together during cleanup efforts.

Winds up to 120 mph from Typhoon Bopha hit the region on Dec. 3. Seawater rose 8 feet above the high tide level, damaging homes and crops.

Hundreds displaced

Nearly 500 people were displaced by the storm said Asanuma. There currently are 200 people still living in former Emergency Evacuation Centers, now called Permanent Public Shelters.

Some no longer living in shelters have moved in with relatives. Others have built temporary structures on their property.

The government will pay for damaged homes, Mariur said. However, homeowners will pay a percentage depending on income.

Those requesting assistance must present evidence of ownership before receiving funding.

Clean water

The Red Cross is ensuring all affected will continue to have access to potable drinking water.

Japan's government has donated hand-operated water purifiers as a temporary solution. The Red Cross is working with state leaders to establish water sources.

Food security

The Red Cross provided immediate assistance with rice and canned goods. Long-term plans are being developed to recover crops and healthier food options.

The agency is developing semi-permanent solutions with the Bureau of Agriculture, Palau Community College and Palau Community Action Agency to equip farmers with seeds for crops that produce within a few weeks, such as sweet potatoes and beans.

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