17 November 2013
IAWRT International Board Member, Sheila Katzman, received an urgent email from Philippines IAWRT member Jola Diones-Mamangun looking for assistance in building an emergency radio station in the city most devastated by the recent typhoon.
Thousands are feared dead in the Philippines and more have been displaced after their homes and communities were destroyed as Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) swept through central Philippines on Friday. This typhoon has been reported as the worst in the recorded history of humankind.
The appeal is to build an emergency mobile community radio station to be initially fielded in Tacloban City, in the area most devastated by the typhoon, to assist in the aid efforts by bringing information to the victims and to assist in announcing people’s whereabouts and their status. Radio is still the most popular medium of the masses for news and information, according to Jola, and will help comfort people who have been cut off from the rest of the country and the world. She needs to get radio to many affected people. Also included in the request is the delivery of portable radios that could run independent of loss of electricity and batteries.
Sheila is directly in contact with Jola and is actively engaged in helping the effort on the ground to source and set up radio in affected areas. She engaged Jola’s plea with radio people she knows from The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), which coincidentally, both Jola and Sheila are also members. According to Jola, the response has been quick. Already one of the contacts is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines over the weekend. Another source for radio equipment has already arrived and is at the port awaiting directives for logistics and location and has contacted Jola.