Capiz folks walk 20 hours to get food aid

Barangays in the eastern and western parts of Tapaz town in Capiz are accessible only by air. A military chopper once dropped relief goods and that was it.

DESTRUCTION IN CAPIZ. A damaged home barely stands amid barren trees in Capiz. Photo by Gerdee Mae Pedregosa of Typhoon Yolanda Story Hub Visayas

CAPIZ, Philippines – In normal times, the eastern and western sides of Tapaz town in this province are not easily accessible. Just how far worse is it after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) barreled through it?

“It will take 17 hours to reach these highland villages on foot, depending on the area,” explained Benjie Gicole, chairman of Barangay Carida.

And because their families needed food and other goods to survive after the devastation, the men and heads of families from the upland villages of Tapaz once walked 17 to more than 20 hours to the town proper to get relief goods.

NOT YET FULLY OPEN. Only half of a road has been cleared of debris. Photo by Gerdee Mae Pedregosa of Typhoon Yolanda Story Hub Visayas

They carried 50 kilograms of rice and goods on their heads during that long walk.

These mountainous parts can only be reached by air.

Once, about 2 or 3 days after the typhoon, an Armed Forces helicopter dropped some relief goods into these parts, but not all villages were reached. And the supplies certainly didn’t last long.

Karen Palomar, councilor of Tapaz, appeals for aid for the families in these more or less 20 barangays.

Among these severely battered and isolated villages are Tacayan, Buri, Siya, Minan, Sinunod, Lahug, Hilwan, Maliao, Rizal Sur, Rizal Norte, Tabon, Daan Sur, and Daan Norte. – 

(The writer is a volunteer for the Typhoon Yolanda Story Hub Visayas, a citizen journalism portal created on Nov 13, 2013, by veteran journalists, student writers, mobile journalists, and photographers based in Iloilo City. The Hub delivers reports from across the Panay Island, especially the severely damaged and minimally covered northern Iloilo and the provinces of Antique, Capiz, and Aklan.)

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