There have been zero casualties in Rizal since Buklod Tao started flood risk advocacy, community training initiatives and fiberglass rescue boat construction.
The community group, whose main mission is to help reduce the risks brought on by heavy rains, has been championing disaster preparedness and response for close to two decades in the Banaba district of San Mateo, just outside metropolitan Manila — but that isn’t the only work that matters to founder Manuel Abinales.
In its evacuation and livelihood center, built in 2013, the organization is also setting an example in reducing its carbon footprint, managing waste and limiting the use of already strained natural resources — activities that any development professional wishing to spearhead sustainability efforts at their own organization can replicate.
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.
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