Church partners mark anniversary of Philippines typhoon

By agency reporter
November 10, 2014

As the world marks a year since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, members of Christian Aid and its partner organisations joined Filipino UN Climate Negotiator Yeb Sano on the final leg of his 1000km Climate Walk, on Saturday 8 November 2014.

Yeb travelled from Manila to Tacloban over 40 days for the People’s Walk for Climate Justice, and invited participants to join him as he walked over the San Juanico Bridge from Samar province into Tacloban, Leyte. The aim of the walk was the encourage both local government and world leaders to take action against climate change.

Thousands of people, including NGOs, students and Haiyan survivors joined the walk at 5:30am, ending at the site of the Mass Burial Grave for a service of thanks to remember those who lost their lives to Typhoon Haiyan.

Yeb, whose family is from Tacloban, said: “We envisioned the walk as a tribute to people confronting climate change and we believe we have done justice to that objective.

“As for our goal of making world leaders understand the problem and urging them to take serious concrete and adequate action to avert this crisis - we have no illusion that walking for 40 days can ensure that, but we know we have planted the seeds.

“And if we have planted our seeds at the grassroots, people can take their destiny in their own hands and build their future, a future we all care about, a future we want.

“We know the international negotiations process is a difficult one and one that I’m always optimistic about, because I have faith in humanity and humanity will overcome any crisis. We shall never give up.”

Christian Aid’s Haiyan emergency response manager Ted Bonpin said: “The cause behind the climate walk is very close to Christian Aid’s heart, especially getting conversations going about how to tackle climate change, starting with the grassroots at a local level.

“The Philippines is one of the countries most at risk from the effects of climate change, as illustrated by Haiyan, and addressing the issue is really important for our children and the generations to come.

“The commemoration of Haiyan means a lot to us at Christian Aid, especially as we and our partners were on the ground soon after the disaster and we’ve been here ever since trying to do the best we can.”

Christian Aid is a UK-based churches' global development and advocacy agency.

[Ekk/3]

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