Last November, one of the saddest stories we encountered was the Inamarga farm. They’d lost all of their animals and had little hope for the future.
We knew we had to help and looking at the damage that was everywhere, it meant starting over from scratch.
Buildings were torn apart or blown away, pigs, chickens, cattle and water buffalo drowned or later died from exposure to the harsh sun. The animals had nowhere to go and suffered through the largest recorded typhoon in history.
Since then, working with the family, we reconstructed animal shelters using removable roofs made of local materials. Now when they know a major storm is coming, they can easily remove and secure the roofs so the structures are not destroyed.
On this visit, we conducted a rehearsal of how to cope with a disaster - made all the more real by the tropical storm passing over us.
Members of our global disaster response team work with the farmers to remove and secure the roofs in the disaster simulation. ©World Animal Protection 2014
We also created underground shelters for pigs, chickens and cows so they can evacuate safely and stay beneath the whipping winds. The shelters were built with roofs that do not blow off and the floors are angled so they do not flood.
Jennifer Innamarga told me she feels so much safer and is grateful to you, our suporters who have made this work possible.
We also saw an opportunity to create a healthier environment for the pigs and instead of using the typical concrete and steel pens that are such miserable ways for sentient, curious animals to live in, we created a multi-layered, natural floor made from coconuts husks, dirt, vegetable matter and other organic compounds.
It is cheap, requires a lot less work from the farmer to clean and recycles itself and the pigs waste. The biggest indicators that this is an ideal environment for the pigs was the lack of smell. Any of you who have passed an industrial pig farm know how awful they smell. This natural system and the pigs themselves did not smell at all.
Best of all, the pigs were running freely, rooting in the ground and expressing natural behaviour. Jennifer said the difference is remarkable. “These pigs are so happy, they are healthier and I work less as the system cleans itself.”
Disaster-prepared, healthy animals living happy lives. What more could you ask for? We're working with local governments and vets to make sure this model is soemthing that can be replicated across the Philippines and other countries vulnerable to typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes.
We couldn't do any of it with you. Thank you for helping us help the animals!