Dutch experts prepare coastal protection plan for the Philippines

Dutch water experts will assist the Philippines with a coastal protection plan for Tacloban and the surrounding area. This should provide better protection against future typhoons. In 2013, the Philippines were hit severely by the destructive typhoon Haiyan, resulting in thousands of casualties and vast material damage.

Ministers Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) and Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) will announce this today. Minister Schultz: ‘The impact of typhoon Haiyan was disastrous. I hope that the coastal protection plan of the Dutch Risk Reduction Team will provide a structural solution for the better protection of the inhabitants, making them more resilient and preventing another disaster.’ Minister Ploumen: ´Each hurricane in the Philippines causes casualties and every time the survivors need to start all over again. That is unnecessary. Dutch companies, knowledge institutes and government authorities know how to protect countries from future floods. They will be using this unique know-how and expertise in the Philippines.’

DRR Teams

The team of Dutch experts is a division of the Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR Team), an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to deploy Dutch experts from the private sector, NGOs and government authorities to prevent or combat flood disasters. Foreign governments may request assistance from the DRR Team to prevent or limit the impact of drought, floods and water pollution. The DRR Team focuses on reconstruction and prevention rather than emergency relief.

Consortium

The consortium that will be carrying out the Philippines assignment on behalf of the DRR Team will be composed of experts from Royal HaskoningDHV, Arcadis, the Red Cross, Deltares, Van Oord, Rebel and Wetlands International. Together with local, regional and national organisations they will be working on a sustainable vision for the Tacloban coastline. The project, costed at 600,000 euros, will be funded by the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Infrastructure & the Environment. It is scheduled to be completed by mid-2016.

Tacloban

The Philippine islands experience a great many typhoons. On 8 November 2013, the largest typhoon ever measured, Haiyan, landed in Guiuan in the eastern part of the province of Samar. It caused a vast number of floods and landslides throughout the region, in particular on the islands of Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Bohol and Panay. More than 6000 people died. The disaster affected 14 million people, 4 million of whom lost their homes. The city of Tacloban was hit hardest: most of the city and the coastline was destroyed.

Emergency relief

The efforts of the DRR Team in Tacloban tie in with the emergency relief the Netherlands provided in 2013 following the disaster. The Dutch government then made 6.5 million euros available for emergency relief. In addition, the Dutch government deployed two Ministry of Defence aeroplanes to transport relief supplies. In 2014, the DRR Team carried out a scoping mission at the request of the Philippine government, the Philippines Reclamation Authorities (PRA).

Prevention

Increasingly more people across the globe live in areas that are prone to flooding. Extreme flood disasters occur ever more often. Therefore, focusing on disaster prevention is essential. Every year, several foreign governments request assistance from the Netherlands to combat water-related risks, induced by (impending) disasters such as floods, drought or water pollution. For that reason, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Infrastructure & the Environment have set up the DRR Team, in collaboration with the Dutch water sector. The DRR Team is implemented and coordinated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), in collaboration with the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP). Meanwhile, DRR Teams have been deployed all over the world to combat and prevent flood disasters.