Typhoon appeal raises £2,703

The fund-raising carried out by local couple Robert and Edna Williamson to help people affected by the typhoon which hit the Philippines in November has now netted £2,703.

Money raised in Shetland has provided corrugated iron sheets for roofing in the Philippines.

Money raised in Shetland has provided corrugated iron sheets for roofing in the Philippines.

Mr Williamson said the money has helped 115 Filipino families put roofs on their homes, by providing 548 corrugated iron sheets.

It also bought a third of a ton of rice for 63 families over Christmas, and provided some coconut tree seed­lings for farmers whose livelihood was decimated.

Mr Williamson said that coconuts are the main cash crop of the area, and 15 million coconut trees were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, with a further 18 million damaged and not producing coconuts.

These 33 million trees now need to be cut into logs and processed, but due to the humidity of the climate there is only a six-month window in which to do it.

An additional problem is that there is a shortage of chainsaws in the Philippines – their sale is regulated to discourage illegal logging.

However, Mr Williamson, whose wife is from the Philippines, managed to buy some for members of the extended family.

Meanwhile the problems in the area continue. The main city of Tacloban, about the size of Aberdeen, is still without electricity, he said, and an area the size of Scotland is damaged.

It is estimated that five million people have been displaced, but Mr Williamson said: “people are adapting as much as possible.”

The Williamsons thank everyone who contributed to their appeal, which included “significant donations” from St John’s Guild, Unst and the Lerwick fishing boat Devotion.

About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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