10th anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan
Solar lamps light up Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines on 8 November, in commemmoration of the 10th anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan. Image: Liter of Lite   

‘Simply remembering is not enough’: Typhoon Haiyan survivors demand climate justice ten years on

As global negotiations on loss and damage concluded their final meeting before COP28, those left behind from the Philippines’ deadliest storm push for the world’s biggest polluters to pay for their role in the climate crisis.

Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on 8 November, affecting more than 16 million people, leaving a quarter of them homeless in provinces mostly in the Visayas region. The Philippines government confirmed 6,300 dead and over 1,000 still missing, as of its updated records in 2014.

Coastal communities that were most affected by the super typhoon were relocated to the northern part of the province, further away from storm surges. But because of its distance from the city, locals have difficulty finding transportation and suffer from a water shortage.

Barangays or villages are better equipped in terms of climate mitigation, with early warning systems, mass text messaging technology, and locals more responsive to follow evacuation orders during storms, but climate resiliency is not as promoted as much as it should be, says Jericho Aliposa. 

Aliposa had just graduated from college in the Philippine capital of Manila when one of the most powerful typhoons in modern history smashed into his hometown of Tacloban in the province of Leyte in 2013. Ten years later, he says there are minimal improvements in his town. 

Together with grassroots community leaders, he formed a group that advocates against infrastructure that threatens mangroves and marine life in Tacloban – his own way of helping rebuild the town. But to really move the needle, the government must push for climate justice on behalf of the people, Aliposa says. 

“It’s not enough to remember. Remembering should come with vigilance to make sure this does not happen again,” he says. “[As it is] the government is trying to wring itself from the blood of their neglect.”

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