In 2014, while based in Manila, I was assigned to document recovery efforts by UN-Habitat in Tacloban and the surrounding communities. For months, I conducted interviews with locals who were forced to live in temporary shelters while they waited for official word of where they’d be allowed to rebuild their homes. After disaster, communities often begin rebuilding their homes with limited skills and know-how of disaster risk reduction construction methods.
Rebuilding after disaster is a crucial period in which communities can reinforce their shelters and prepare for future risk. But in many cases, without sufficient funds, skills and experience, self-recovery methods often turn towards ‘building back worse’. The UN-Habitat worked alongside partner organizations and the City of Tacloban to develop a Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan that a proposed spatial development of Tacloban in order to address emergency, recovery, and long term rehabilitation needs.