Tribal leader seeks help for displaced Mamanwa families in Samar

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – A tribal leader is asking for help for families of the Mamanwa tribe displaced by heavy flooding due to continuous rains in Samar.

Mamanwa tribe leader Jennifer Cabadongga told Rappler in a phone interview on Saturday, December 29, that 24 families of their tribe had been without food since Friday night, December 28, when they were forced to flee to safer ground.

The tribe lived in Sitio Wespal, Barangay Guirang in Basey, Samar, which was affected by heavy flooding because of the swollen river.

"Dito kami nakapag-ebakwit sa simbahan namin kasi ito ang mataas na lugar.  Wala kami pagkain at 'di makalabas sa barangay kasi mataas ang tubig," Cabadongga said.

(We evacuated here at the church because this is high ground. We have no food and we can't leave the barangay because of the flooding.)

The Calbayog city government on distributed food packs to flooded barangays but Calbayog Mayor Ronaldo Aquino told Rappler in a phone interview that some barangays could not be reached due to extensive flooding.

"Until now ina-account pa namin kung ilan ang mga barangays na flooded. However, meron mga barangays na napadalhan na ng food packs (Until now we are doing an accounting of the number of barangays that are flooded. However, there are barangays that have received food packs)," Aquino said.

In Barangay Tarabucan, a highschool teacher told Rappler in another phone interview that his village was completely flooded and that families there also need food and water.

ISOLATED VILLAGE. Barangay Tarabucan n Calbayog, Samar, is completely flooded. Photo courtesy of Mark Icawat

ISOLATED VILLAGE. Barangay Tarabucan n Calbayog, Samar, is completely flooded.

Photo courtesy of Mark Icawat

"Lampas tao ang flood sa barangay namin. Merong mga two-story na bahay na aside sa nasira ito rin ay inabot tubig baha (Floodwaters in our barangay are so high. There are some two-story houses that got destroyed by floodwaters)," said Mark Icawat, a teacher at the Tarabucan National High School.

"Sa ngayon kailangan namin tubig na maiinom at pagkain. Di kami makalabas kasi isolated kami sa ngayon kasi mataas ang tubig galing sa river (We need food and water. We can't go out, we're isolated because of the water spilling out of the river)," he added. – Rappler.com