One year after Haiyan: feeling safer and better prepared

Salud is 76 and blind. She received a solar powered radio from HelpAge-COSE. It gives her information, particularly on weather updates and entertainment whenever she is alone at home.

Salud has been partially blind for 5 years and is too weak to go far from her house. She lives with her husband Alfonso, 65, and their youngest child Kaye, 13.

“When Haiyan came we were very scared. The wind was so strong that our wooden house collapsed. We still don’t have our own house at the moment. The house we are currently staying in is owned by my daughter. Her husband took her to Manila after the typhoon, so they let us stay here for a while.”

“We had some coconut and fruit trees before, but those were damaged by typhoon Haiyan. Though these are slowly growing again, it will take some time before the trees bear fruit.”

“I’m left alone in the house while my husband works on our farm and our child Kaye goes to school. It is good when my neighbours visit and talk to me because it means I have someone to talk to. I have to deal with the silence and loneliness when no one visits me here.

I am thankful I received the solar-powered radio from HelpAge COSE. I listen to it every day. I bring it to our bedroom and listen to it at night. It is not expensive since I just have to charge it under the sun.”

Salud Costelo2-Kate PagsolinganThese days, Salud and her husband always tune in to the radio for updates on the weather. “The radio is very helpful since it is already the rainy season. We listen to the news on the radio every day. When we heard the news that typhoon Glenda was coming, we tuned into the radio. It helped us get ready. When we heard that it would be a strong typhoon, we started packing our things and prepared to evacuate in case the barangay officials asked us to.”

“I feel nervous and scared when heavy rain comes. I’m afraid of another ‘Haiyan’. The radio helps us to be prepared just by listening to the news.”