The capacity to pay it forward is one of the best acts of solidarity between those who are facing the disastrous impacts of the new reality of climate change. It shows triumph over tragedy and enables us to show that a fossil free world is doable and that technology is already available and can be controlled by communities who look after the interest of the common good.
From Haiyan to Mangkhut: Learning from tragedy
Photo: AC Dimatatac
By Chuck Baclagon
This story already seems dated, especially now that the region where we conducted this training again reels from the devastating impact of yet another typhoon of almost the same intensity.
Especially today, exactly five years since Typhoon Haiyan first struck the country, bringing with it the wrath of the strongest typhoon to have ever made landfall in recorded history.
You win some. You lose some. That may seem the case for those of us living the new normal of climate change. And along the way, we are constantly learning more about what it means to struggle, to thrive as we build both resilience and resistance against fossil-fueled development.
Hence the reason why it is still necessary to share the story of our recently-conducted TekPak training and assembly workshop, which was led by Typhoon Haiyan survivors from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities’ (ICSC) RE-Charge Pilipinas program. The activity was carried out by a composite team from ICSC, 350 Pilipinas, and Greenpeace Philippines volunteers to help our community partners in Cagayan Province to set up, build and deploy portable solar devices called TekPaks in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut.
The capacity to pay it forward is one of the best acts of solidarity between those who are facing the disastrous impacts of the new reality of climate change. It is a glaring example of triumph over tragedy where the integration of low carbon solutions in disaster and humanitarian work, enables us to show that a fossil free world is doable and that technology is already available and can be controlled by communities who look after the interest of the common good by sharing knowledge.
Paying It Forward
A documentary by Fread De Mesa & Kathleen Limayo
Typhoon Haiyan survivors from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities’ RE-Serve Corps, provided a TekPak assembly workshop to residents of Typhoon Mangkhut impacted community representatives from the province of Cagayan.
Typhoon Mangkhut and the rapid assessment team
Photo: AC Dimatatac/ICSC
A rapid assessment team was deployed in Cagayan Province following the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut, which struck the island of Luzon on September 15, 2018. It was the strongest typhoons to strike Luzon since 2010, and the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
Among the needs identified in the assessment was access to energy for communications, lighting and powering medical equipment. Where in some areas this need was met by using diesel generators which are not only noisy but also is pollution and expensive for residents still reeling from the typhoon’s damage.
That’s why in response, we decided to help activate a team that includes RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps of ICSC which is composed mostly of Haiyan survivors.
TekPaks A portable solar power system for emergency response, community use and climate action
Photos: AC Dimatatac
Photos: AC Dimatatac
The TekPak provides a sustainable, renewable response to power communications, lighting, medical and other energy needs.
It was designed by ICSC, Frederick Epistola of Solar Pilipinas and Haiyan survivors. The first units were assembled by Solar Scholars from Tacloban City and interns and volunteer students from Eastern Visayas State University.