Earlier this week, Typhoon Bopha, struck the island of Mindanao in the southern part of the Philippines. It went to sea and is now turning back towards the north. This brings back memories of my time on the southern island after a typhoon nearly a year ago. I made this video then (January 2012):
I noticed something tragic, that I had read in 58: Fast Living, How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty, but was seeing up close: the poor suffered the most. Of the nearly 2000 people who died in last year’s typhoon, virtually all of them lived in weak homes along a river bank. In fact, I couldn’t get a good photo, but a view from a bridge helped me see that not only did they build in cheap land along a river, but along a curve in the river. When the typhoon came, and the river rose, it didn’t turn at the curve and wiped out thousands.
There were strong houses built on the ridge above the river, where the middle and upper class people could only watch in horror, with no ability to help.I don’t know all of the solutions…but I know that poverty is the top indicator of injury or death in the midst of a natural tragedy.
Praying today for those affected by Bopha, for our Convoy of Hope staff in the Philippines as they respond, and that God will give all insight as to key strategies in the fight on behalf of the world’s poorest people